Nokia’s Chennai plant workers’ union blames company for deal mess

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SummaryThe workers union of Nokia India’s Chennai facility — the Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam

The workers union of Nokia India’s Chennai facility — the Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam — which is all set to move the Delhi High court on Saturday has blamed the Finnish mobile major for the current mess in the deal with Microsoft.

The union has said it will make a plea in the court to ensure that Nokia cannot go back from its commitment that workers will be a part of Microsoft, post the conclusion of the $7.2-billion deal.

Speaking to FE on Friday, M Saravana Kumar, president, Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam, said: “We have no clue over Nokia’s understanding with Microsoft on the deal as well on tax disputes and it is for Nokia to settle the disputes with Indian tax authorities amicably and ensure that the Chennai plant becomes a part of Microsoft. We have no clue on contract manufacturing as has been reported.”

“Given our understanding on the deal, it seems that Nokia has not highlighted the tax disputes with the Indian authorities in detail in its agreement with Microsoft,” he said.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the way Nokia handles the issue, he said: “We are holding discussions with our lawyers in Delhi and we will most probably move the High Court on Saturday. We want to implead ourselves in this case as deadline is approaching fast.”

Finland’s foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja’s comments suggesting December 12 as a deadline to resolve Nokia’s tax disputes in India has come as a blow, he said. The ultimatum that otherwise the Chennai plant will be left out of the deal has come a major blow in resolving the crisis and, hence, unfortunate, he added.

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