Nokia prepares to negotiate over job cuts

The company has said discussions with employees and unions about its organisational restructuring and changes will begin towards the end of April

Nokia will start negotiations over job cuts with employees and union representatives in April, the company has said.

"We have communicated to employee representatives and employees that we are currently targeting to announce the implications of these changes towards the end of April," a spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "At present we have not given a specific date."

The cuts stem from Nokia's big tie-in with Microsoft, which will see the Finnish handset maker adopt Windows Phone 7 as its primary platform. Nokia's work on MeeGo will be severely downgraded — it intends to release only one device using the Linux-based OS this year — while the still-widespread Symbian platform is to be phased out over the next two years.

As part of the Microsoft deal, Nokia announced on 11 February it would be restructuring its organisation into two distinct units — smart devices and mobile phones. The company hinted at job cuts, but Nokia's announcement on Wednesday is the first news on the subject to emerge from the company since then.

A Nokia spokeswoman refused to give ZDNet UK any indication of the number of job losses involved. According to a Reuters report, there is particular anxiety over the cuts in Finland, where Nokia is a significant employer. The report notes that the negotiations will begin shortly after the Finnish general election.

In the UK, some Nokia employees are represented by the union Unite, which has yet to comment on the latest round of cuts. The new redundancies are separate to those announced in October 2010, when the incoming chief executive Stephen Elop announced the imminent dismissal of 1,800 employees worldwide.


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