Nokia Siemens Networks to cut 150 jobs in Swindon

The UK facility will account for one tenth of NSN's global job cuts, which the networking equipment company blames on delays in closing its takeover of Motorola's networking business

Nokia Siemens Networks is set to lay off 150 people from its Swindon facilities, part of a worldwide reduction in staff following its purchase of a Motorola unit.

The job losses, which will affect mostly research staff, represent one-tenth of a total target of 1,500 announced by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) on 28 June. The networking equipment company employs around 70,000 people around the globe.

"A consultation process with employees in Swindon began on July 25 with the aim of cutting 150 jobs by the end of June 2012," a company spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Friday.

The redundancies follow on from NSN's $1.2bn (£736,000) purchase of Motorola's networking business. In June, NSN said it wanted to reduce the headcount in the WiMax and GSM parts of the former Motorola unit by 1,500. It also revealed plans to move 1,200 employees into its LTE and WCDMA units, which work on more successful wireless technologies.

NSN blamed the reorganisation on a delay in closing the Motorola deal, which it said had resulted in "lower demand" for the unit's products and services. Huawei, a major rival, held up the transaction by launching a lawsuit to halt the sale. It feared that its trade secrets and intellectual property, to which Motorola had access, would fall into NSN's hands.

The light regulation around labour laws makes it a lot easier to dispense with workers in the UK than in other areas.

– Andy Prendergast, GMB

Andy Prendergast of the GMB union said it was "a real tragedy that these jobs are going [as] they are well-paid, high-skilled jobs of the kind that we should be a world leader in".

Prendergast told ZDNet UK that the union is not recognised by NSN, despite its members' employment there. This means the company had had no legal requirement to talk to the GMB before beginning redundancy consultations with workers.

"The light regulation around labour laws makes it a lot easier to dispense with workers in the UK than in other areas," he added. "This is another nail in the coffin of the idea that the Tories have an economic policy built around growth."

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