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

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.

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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.

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"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.