Nokia, Bochum employee representatives agreed on severance package and site closure date
"As we said in January when we started the discussions about closing Bochum, Nokia has agreed on a fair and responsible social plan," said Veli Sundbäck, Executive Vice President of Nokia and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Nokia GmbH. "We are well aware that closing the site is painful for all affected employees and their families. As we have clear responsibilities to our employees in this kind of difficult situation, it was our special concern from the start to compensate the loss of the jobs in a respectful and fair manner."
"We achieved our goal, which was to reach a satisfactory agreement for our members that is in line with the best German agreements," said Gisela Achenbach, head of the Bochum works council. "Furthermore, additional payments will take into account the specific situation of families and severely disabled persons."
Both parties have also reached agreement on terms related to employee issues in the cases of the planned divestment of the Line Fit Automotive Business to the former business unit head, Razvan Olosu, and Equity Partners GmbH; and of the Bochum based core software R&D entity to Sasken Communication Technologies. Successful divestments would enable employment for approximately 300 staff in total, an important step towards the joint aim of finding alternative employment for Nokia's Bochum staff.
While production at Bochum will cease by end-June 2008, Nokia will continue to have a strong presence in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany with a major sales and marketing unit in Düsseldorf and a strong representation through a devices R&D team in Ulm. Nokia is the only major mobile device maker with an R&D presence in Germany, and its footprint in software is growing with the acquisitions of Gate5 and Loudeye and the pending purchase of Navteq, which has personnel in Frankfurt.
The final reconciliation of interests and social plan are expected to be signed in the next few weeks.
Nokia will comment further on the financial costs in connection with its first quarter report due on April 17.
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