Nokia sets date for Bochum plant closure

AFP - [email protected] • 8 Apr, 2008 Updated Tue 8 Apr 2008 17:09 CEST
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Nokia, the world's leading mobile phone maker, announced an accord with employees Tuesday on the closure of its plant in Bochum, Germany, including a severance package of €200 million.

The deal set June 30 as the closure date.

"Nokia and Bochum employee representatives have agreed on key elements of a reconciliation of interests and a social plan for employees affected by the plan to close the site," the Finnish group said in a statement, calling the deal a "a fair, reasonable and satisfactory solution for all."

"The €200 million package calls for Bochum to be shut down by June 30, after which Nokia will establish a transfer company for affected staff for one year," it said.

The company's share price shed 2.20 percent on the Helsinki stock exchange shortly after the announcement in an overall market down 1.59 percent.

Nokia's decision in January to close Bochum raised howls of protest in Germany, where 2,300 jobs were expected to be lost at the plant and with local sub-contractors also expected to be hit.

Nokia plans to shift production to Romania where labour costs are lower.

Shortly after announcing the closure, Nokia posted record results for 2007, further tarnishing the group's reputation in Germany, where calls multiplied

to boycott its products.

The German state of North-Rhine Westphalia has demanded Nokia pay back €41 million of subsidies it received for the plant in the late 1990s.

Nokia has rejected the state's request.



AFP 2008/04/08 17:09

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