The workers of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) in its factory located in the southern part of China are protesting after the Finnish company sold its Devices and Services unit to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The factory workers complained that they were treated unfairly after the transaction.
Chinese Nokia workers have trust issues
According to report from Reuters, generally, Chinese workers do not have enough trust in their employers, and they are often reluctant towards takeovers. They are afraid that their employment situation will become worse under a new owner. The protest in the industrial city of Dongguan is the latest incident of many complaints among the Chinese affiliates of foreign manufacturing companies in the country.
The factory workers of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) are protesting against the terms of the new employment contracts offered to them. The workers argued that terms of the new contract are worse, and they were allegedly compelled to sign it after the Finnish company agreed to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in September.
Some witnesses told Reuters that riot police beat four protesters and removed them from the scene on Wednesday morning. A young female worked identified as Zhang said, “We will definitely continue to fight until we get what’s fair.”
Wearing their white uniforms, the protesters were holding banners with the messages, “Legally protect our rights,” and “Demand fair compensation.”
Another worker who identified himself using his surname Yang commented, “They won’t do anything until things reach a critical stage.” Yang had been working at Nokia’s factory for two years.
On the other hand, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) said the interaction between police officers and protesters in its factory in Dongguan had been “restrained and peaceful.” The Finnish company added that it is continuing its negotiations with the protesters in an e-mail statement.
“Our manufacturing operations in Dongguan continue. To accommodate the temporary situation, we have also adjusted our operations in other manufacturing facilities,” according to Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK).
The actual reason of the complaints of the Nokia’s factory workers is unclear. According to a industry source familiar with situation, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is not willing to give in to the workers’ demand for severance packages who would retain their jobs under the management of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The source does not expect layoffs in the factory, and denied the claims of protesters interviewed by Reuters that their wages had been affected by the deal.