An estimated 15,000 people took to the streets of Bochum, north-western Germany, on Tuesday afternoon to protest Nokia’s factory closing. Union IG Metall’s director Berthold Huber promised to fight for as long as Nokia sticks by its decision.
“We will fight, if the conglomerate avoids its responsibility. Nokia’s management must understand clearly that the brand Nokia will not get away undamaged,” Huber told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The union accuses Nokia of destroying thousands of jobs in the name of profit.
Nokia’s image might indeed in danger, especially in Germany, “Nokia has an image to lose, and not only an image, also business. One does not go without the other in Germany,” said Hartmut Schauerte, the Parliamentary Secretary of State from the centre-right CDU. Schauerte believes that Nokia will have to give in somewhat, as there could be consequences both legally and in the eyes of the German consumers if they stick too strictly to their decision.
Last week, Nokia announced that it would close its mobile phone manufacturing plant in Bochum and move production to Romania. The action will cost 2,300 jobs and put an additional 2000 jobs with suppliers in danger.