The Unite union has slammed plans by Nokia to slash 700 jobs in the UK as part of a 7,000 worldwide job shedding exercise. The union described the move as a "dark day for the British economy".
Nokia said the jobs would go by the end of 2012 as it looks to slash costs by E1bn (£886m). The phone giant said the losses would mainly be felt in its research and development, and software units.
Nokia will also transfer a further 3,000 employees to Accenture as part of an outsourcing deal which will see Accenture provide Symbian-based software development and support services. The company said it expects to see employees transfer by the end of 2011. The job losses will take effect from 2012.
Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary , said: 'What is very disheartening is that mobile phones and their associated technology are one of the growth areas in the British economy, yet this still does not stop a successful company such as Nokia throwing people out of work.'
In February the company announced a partnership with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy.
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said the job cuts were part of the company's new strategy. "With this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce. This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programs for the talented people of Nokia," he said.