Nokia offers workers transfer to Romania

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has offered workers in Bochum, Germany a chance to transfer to the new plant in Romania. Nokia’s 44 percent surge in net profit over the last quarter has stirred further anger among those affected by Nokia’s plant closure in Bochum and has intensified criticism.

“The profits are also ours,” said Gisela Achenbach, the employee representative on the board of directors, into a microphone at the Bochum factory. Corporate boards in Germany have an employee representative. She urged continued pressure on the Nokia and told the North Rhine-Westphalia local daily, Rheinischen Post, “they will give in at some point.” Bochum is in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. She called for some production to remain in Bochum. Additionally, she called for German politicians to “make their voices heard in Finland.”

General Secretary of the centre-left SPD party, Hubertus Heil described the plant closure as “pure profit-greed.” He urged Nokia to rethink their steely posture. “The managers are not only responsible for share earnings. They are also responsible for the people who make these profits possible,” he told the Rheinischen Post.

Nokia has felt an impact on their German sales. Retailers across the country report customers’ refusal to buy Nokia handsets. Whether this sentiment will continue is a mater of speculation. In a poll of Rheinischen Post readers, 76.4 percent said they would not move to Romania if they worked for Nokia.