Accenture's 330 job losses could spell the end for Symbian facility

Nokia showed Symbian developers the door to Accenture. Now, Accenture is showing ex-Nokians the door.

The Finnish arm of IT consultancy Accenture will begin talks to cut 330 staff from its Finnish workforce, which could spell the end for a Symbian development facility in the northern city of Oulu. 

Negotiations will begin on 5 November, with cuts potentially affecting all areas of the company's 1,800 strong Finnish workforce. However, there are fears this round of job losses could fall heavily on Oulu - a city already battered by heavy headcount reduction at Nokia.  

Nokia moved a total of 2,300 Symbian staff to Accenture from its offices worldwide last September after the phone maker outsourced Symbian development to the consulting firm. Finns made up half of the transfer, with 1,200 Finnish workers shifted to Accenture Finland at the time. 

It's unclear how many of the 330 jobs on the line are former Nokia Symbian staff. However, the nation's main engineering union UIE says that they will most likely bear the brunt of the cuts.

"We don't exactly know if all this staff are ex-Nokians, but if we thought about what has happened in Accenture earlier this year, we assume they are almost all ex-Nokians," a UIE spokesperson told ZDNet. 

At least a quarter of the 1,200 Finnish Symbian developers have been made redundant by Accenture. The latest cull could amount to a further 18 percent of the 1,800 Finnish workers at Accenture. 

In May, Accenture chief Frank Korsström announced that 320 ex-Nokians had taken Accenture's redundancy offer and 500 had been moved onto other duties. At the time, the company said was planning to cut around 250 further Symbian developers. 

Accenture Oulu had taken on around 400 of the original 1,200 and established a Symbian-focused centre. That facility now employs just 170 of the staff.

Workers there fear that the latest negotiations will lead to the closure of the site altogether, according to local Oulu paper, Kaleva

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