No more work mobiles for Nokia workers moving to TCS: BYOD now mandatory

No more work mobiles for Nokia workers moving to TCS: BYOD now mandatory

Summary: Culture shock and no more employer-supplied devices on the horizon for Nokians on the move to TCS.


Hundreds of Nokia workers being transferred from the mobile giant to outsourcer TCS are facing a future where corporate smartphones, tablets and laptops are a thing of the past and BYOD is mandatory.

In January, Nokia announced plans to cut 300 IT employees and transfer a further 820 workers across the world to outsourcing companies TCS and HCL.

The Finnish Union of Professional Engineers (UIL) on Wednesday raised the alarm over one condition it claims TCS has asked incoming Nokians to accept, criticising the company for failing to understand Finnish labour laws or culture.

Instead of providing Nokia employees with company-funded devices, as would normally be the case according to the union, TCS has asked them to use their own devices for work. The transferred workers will however get a SIM card with €50 towards mobile connectivity per month.

"In negotiations [TCS] has told the employees that they won't get laptops or mobile phones, just SIM cards with €50 per month. In Finland this kind of policy isn't normal at all; here employers give you the device you need," a UIL spokesman told

Ongoing discussions between Nokia's staff based in Finland and the outsourcing companies are reaching the pointy end of negotiations, with staff expected to be transferred by 1 March, according to Nokia shop steward Lena Herlin.

"What we've been going through is the benefits because legally they need to be at the same level they had before. Now there's some criticism because of the phone benefits and laptops," Herlin told ZDNet.

She said that because staff contracts are being transferred, rather than re-signed, wages should not be affected, however benefits and conditions are up for negotiation.

It's not clear how many Finland-based Nokians are moving to TCS, although Herlin believes the majority are likely to be from the country. Negotiations with Nokia's staff in other regions under the global transfer are occurring independently.

TCS's European offices would not comment on the BYOD proposal when asked by ZDNet.   

"All interested parties are currently working together to secure the best possible transition. We are committed to ensure a smooth transfer of all tasks and for all involved Nokia employees," a TCS spokesman said in a statement.

Topics: Nokia, Consumerization, Mobility, Outsourcing, EU, Bring Your Own Device

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • The more these unions act like cry babies the less sympathy people have for

    them. It's really odd that they don't seem to understand that. Focusing on what's truly unfair instead of what's laughably stupid would be a welcome change.
    Johnny Vegas
    • That's because you're used to working for American companies...

      ...where workers are expected to pay for all sorts of things that actually benefit the employer.

      Modern Europe isn't (or at least "wasn't") like that; if the employee needed tools to do their job (whether a hand saw or a mobile phone), then the employer was expected to provide those tools.

      Now, of course, Nokia is managed by a North American from Microsoft so things are different...
      • that's complete BS

        American companies don't require employees to pay for tools required to perform their work for employer. Some smaller companies may give their employees some money so that they can buy laptops they want and if they want to buy. There might be, of course, some shady small companies that would screw their employees in every possible way they can. But this is definitely not the norm.

        The whole BYOD phenomenon started because the employees who didn't want to carry their own phone and the company-issued Blackberry started asking their employers to let them use their personal phones for accessing company's email. Not because the greedy employers figured that they can save a penny or two by not buying Blackberries.
        • Sure you live in the US?

          "There might be, of course, some shady small companies that would screw their employees in every possible way they can. But this is definitely not the norm."

          I have had the dubious "honor" of working for two companies that utterly & completely screwed its employees...and no...I won't name them...but I can tell you the the largest one was so horrible that there were DOZENS of people who took their own lives as a direct result of company policies.

          Take off the Rose Colored Glasses happens EVERY DAY in the US.
        • US auto mechanics

          have to supply their own tools. Just a starter set could go $10,000 and still be woefully inadequate. I retired a few years ago and the replacement cost of allllll of my tools is probably north of $70,000.

          I have been told that in Europe all tools are supplied and hours and vacation time is something we only dream about. When the last of the Boomers retire we will be lucky if we can get a flat fixed.
      • Welcome to the ....

        Social democrat world, where unions can bring down entire companies along with the over all economic growth of innocent nations.

        Nokia needs to innovate and move on. Employees of Nokia do also need to be taken care of, since they have been paying a higher tax rate than many of us, who are unlucky to enjoy the kind of welfare that they get, but are lucky enough to become contractors, who can earn more and pay less text.

        I think it would be wise if Nokia ex-employ could become contractors to Nokia and move to a countries, where they will pay less tax - hence save more money that can spend on what they like.
  • BYOD a better choice than employer provided devices

    Employer provided devices come with so much security restrictions that one can hardly install an application. Better off with BYOD.
    or switchover to iPhone, Android development and dump both NOKIA and TCS
    • Data governance policies

      Companies often have stated security and restrictions to meet a host of regulatory compliance around customer data. Are you suggesting with BYOD those controls are not needed and employees will do the right thing?

      Is BYOD really about convience and desire to not adhere to these policies? Perhaps lawsuits should now be forwarded to employees as well since they are taking ownership of this adherence?

      Workers world wide are being fleeced for corporate profit. Perhaps once all work is done in 3rd world countries and every enocomy hits rock bottom due to no one makes a livable wage the big companies will ask "what happen?"
      • The Nokia phones I carried when I worked for Nokia...

        ...had no restrictive firmware placed upon them. In fact, as smartphone engineering protos, they had a lot more capabilities than the phones would finally ship with (in terms of debugging, software installation, and the like).

        Even our Nokia-provided dumbphones were bog-standard devices.
      • data restrictions

        If the company wants to control the device, they need to supply the device. When the company I work for discontinued company-supplied cell phones they also lost the option to control the phones used by employees.
        • Agree

          But don't expect your device to be of much use beyond email and PIM.

          So to me this impacts the potential of a mobile enabled workforce. Everyone wants their cake and eat it too.
  • This is great news

    Now they aren't forced to use Windoze 8 phones, and can now get the phone they allways wanted to own, the iPhone!
    A friend of a friend whose cousin works at Nokia said nobody likes Windoze 8 phones there, but would get fired if they bought something else and used it at work.
    I Am Galactus
    • Your friend would be wrong.

      I carried a personal iPhone the entire time I worked for Nokia. I also had a Nokia-issued dumbphone that I never used along with a Nokia-issued SIMcard that I installed in whatever Nokia smartphone prototype I happened to be testing at the moment.
    • "A friend of a friend whose cousin works there"

      Well, my brother-in-law's brother-in-law's next door neighbor's sister's father-in-law's brother's friends works at Nokia and seai he never heard of your friend's friend's cousin , so I think you're making that up.
      William Farrel
  • Get stuffed

    I'd tell them to buy me a mobile phone or don't expect to contact me at any time.
    Susan Antony
  • better yet

    from the hours of 9 -5 you can find me in the office after I leave; I don't know you, I will not acknowledged your presence. Don't talk to me don't call me in fact my number is unlisted how did you get this number... Good Day Sir.
    • RE: You are still employed?

      Or you are in the top 5% level productive or work for a unusual company, 9 to 5 ?how 1950s.
      • It's out there

        I have full flex schedule and work 9-5 most days. Days I work overnight I go in late or leave early to offset. I also have full WFH ability whenever I see fit.

        The downside is I'm doing the work of 3 people so there is more work than hours in the week. This year I get done what I can and let things slide. Companies need to start hiring to meet production needs as they let a lot of workers go the last few years.
  • The Real Cultural shock is the truth about TCS

    TCS doesn't want to have whites. And that's the real cultural shock. No, sorry, that's discrimination. Proof of that is that now, after 2 months of having received all the "goras" as they like to call them, now they are letting them go. Half of the transferred employees are to be laid-off and TCS have started "consultations". TCS (and TATA group) are known for the slavery approach. They own India to start with. There is so much dirty stuff underneath that I'm surprised how Nokia dare to say that they have checked the "social responsible" and the "ethical practices" of these Indian employers.