Supreme Court verdict on Nokia: Chennai plant employees to meet next week

Written by PTI | Chennai | Updated: Mar 16 2014, 02:28am hrs
Employees of Nokia's Sriperumbudur plant would meet next week to decide the next course of action in the wake of the Supreme Court refusing to lift the restraint on sale of the handset maker's Indian assets to Microsoft.

"We want our future to be secured. Now, after Supreme Court direction there is no certainty about our future", Nokia India Employees Union President Saravana Kumar told PTI today.

"Definitely, we are disappointed... We will meet sometime next week, discuss with him (union President A Soundararajan) and then we will announce our further course of action," he said.

The Supreme Court refused to lift the restraint on sale of Nokia's Indian assets, including the Chennai plant, as part of the handset maker's global deal with the Microsoft.

The apex court dismissed Nokia's plea against the Delhi High Court order directing its parent company in Finland to give an undertaking to fulfil the conditions relating to payment of tax dues.

If the Chennai plant was not transferred as per the deal, the facility would become a contract manufacturer of Microsoft for a year and employees too would become contract labourers.

After one year, it may be left to Microsoft to decide whether to continue with them or announce lay off, an employee said.

According to Saravana Kumar, about 5,000 employees are working directly at the plant across various shifts while it has about 10,000 indirect employees.

Noting that the employees had joined the facility soon after completing their higher secondary education as trainees, Kumar said most of the employees are "unskilled" workers and were working at the plant for many years.

"Based on our experience, we cannot try other companies for work. We thought our job is secured. But now it is not," he said.