'Workers needs trampled in Microsoft-Nokia deal': Labour Progressive Federation
news Friday, February 20, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 20, 2015 | 09:06 am IST Chennai: The Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) Thursday said commercial interests have trampled over genuine needs of workers of Nokia India mobile phone factory near here. In a letter to union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, a copy of which was released to the media here, LPF's general secretary M. Shanmugam said the Microsoft-Nokia India issue is "...clearly a case of commercial interests trampling over genuine needs of the workers". He urged Jaitley to consider the interests of thousands of families and work with Microsoft to operationalise the Nokia India factory and take back all the laid-off employees as permanent employees of Microsoft. Shanmugam also requested Jaitley to work with Microsoft to start production of Lumia devices in the factory near here as the increasing popularity of those phones would provide sufficient work for all erstwhile employees of Nokia India factory. LPF is the labour wing of Tamil Nadu's Dravida Munnetra Khazagam (DMK) party. The US based software giant Microsoft last year acquired the global mobile phone business of Finnish company Nokia. However, the deal excluded Nokia India's plant near here that employed around 22,000 workers and there were tax demands by the central and the state governments. "Unfortunately, even with no resolution on the Tax issue, Microsoft still went ahead and absorbed all Nokia employees in India, except the ones in Chennai factory. This was done after giving a false hope to the employees by making the Nokia Chennai factory to work on contract for Microsoft for a while," Shanmugam said. "The end result is that all employees, numbering over 22000, of Nokia Chennai factory were fired and left to fend for themselves," he added. Shanmugam wondered how clearance was given for merging the Nokia India entity with Microsoft, without resolving the tax issue. He also asked Jaitley how Nokia employees in the human resources department that belonged to the factory were absorbed in Microsoft while letting go of others. With IANS
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