Up to 425 jobs could face the axe in Finland as Nokia announces a new round of layoffs, with the Finnish network equipment maker beginning redundancy talks with its staff on 22 February.
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The talks will affect up to 350 jobs across its network business and support functions, and up to 75 jobs in its Nokia Technologies unit.
“The planned change measures are essential to ensure Nokia’s long-term competitiveness,” Tommi Uitto, Nokia Finland’s country senior officer, said in a statement. “Market conditions among communications service providers were challenging last year, and as we have said previously, the market is expected to shrink further this year.”
The layoffs are expected to hit all of Nokia’s offices in Finland, with the exception of its factory based in Oulu. Nokia today has some 6,300 employees in its home country and around 103,000 globally.
Samu Salo, chairman of the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, raised concern over the latest news but admitted they didn’t come as a surprise: “We were expecting something like this after Nokia’s earlier announcements,” he told Computer Weekly. “But we don’t quite understand why [these redundancies hit Finland] again.”
Salo called for more emphasis on re-training existing employees as well as for a revision of Finland’s cooperation act (between employer and employees), which he believes make mass layoffs too easy.
The planned redundancies follow a familiar pattern from Nokia after it took over French rival Alcatel-Lucent in 2016.
In October 2017, the company announced it was looking to axe up to 310 jobs from its Nokia Technologies division, with the majority of them (190) from Finland. A few months earlier, Nokia confirmed 170 job cuts in its networks division, and in May 2016 announced the reduction of 1,032 jobs across its total Finnish workforce.
Read more about recent IT job cuts in Finland
- Microsoft plans to shut down two former Nokia manufacturing plants in China, which means 9,000 jobs will be lost.
- Regional development organisations in Finland describe how, despite job cuts, Nokia and Microsoft have provided foundations for IT industry development.
- Nokia has announced plans for more job cuts, largely in Finland, as business reality hits virtual reality camera sales.
These layoffs are part of Nokia’s global cost-cutting and transformation programme announced after the Alcatel-Lucent merger. It targets €1.2bn annual cost savings by the end of 2018.
Nokia also announced it is reviewing the role of its digital health business, which is part of its Nokia Technologies division. The bulk of the business is based on French health tech company Withings, which Nokia acquired in 2016. The company stated the review “may or may not result in any transaction or other changes”.