Bochum employees pleased with Nokia severance

Employees at a Nokia plant to be closed in Bochum, Germany said Wednesday they are pleased with the €200 million severance package the cell phone maker has offered.

Bochum employees pleased with Nokia severance
Photo: DPA

Acting workers’ association chief Silvano Guidone told DPA press agency the severance deal is peerless within Germany.

“Our colleagues know to appreciate this,” Guidone said, after presenting the main points of the severance to the workers’ association.

About 2,300 workers are affected by Nokia’s closure of the Bochum plant. The Finnish group – the world’s leading maker of mobile phones – is moving its Bochum operations to Romania, where labour costs are lower.

Under the settlement agreement, unveiled on Tuesday, €185,000 of the settlement will go directly to redundancy payments for workers. Each worker will get an average of €80,000. The remaining €15 million will finance a transitional company to provide a year of job training for laid-off workers.

Economists with ties to employers said the size of the severance package could pose a problem for other companies doing business in Germany.

“For a foreign investor this is a fatal signal that if the worst comes to the worst, a plant closure is an extremely expensive undertaking,” Hagen Lesch, a wage expert at the Institute of the German Economy, told DPA.

Though layoffs do not go into effect until June 30, some workers expect not to be called into work after early May. Three hundred Bochum workers are being transferred to two other companies.



German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof

It's not unusual for Germans to carry a lot of cash. But for one man in North Rhine-Westphalia, taking out banknotes turned into a nightmare.

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof
Germany is known for being a nation of cash lovers. Photo: DPA

The 69-year-old man in Witten, near Bohum in western Germany, withdrew €20,000 of cash from a bank last Friday in order to buy a new car, police said in a statement.

He then placed the envelope with the cash on the roof of his current car. However, he forgot about the envelope and drove off.

A short time later, police said the man noticed that the envelope had disappeared.

Police are urgently appealing for anyone who finds the money to hand it into a lost property office or to the police so that the large sum can be reunited with the pensioner.

The man withdrew the cash at around 3.40pm on Friday, November 22nd from a bank at Ruhrstraße 45 in Witten. He drove off in the direction of Husemannstraße.


Police appealed on Twitter for anyone with information to get in touch.

A nation of cash lovers

Although things are changing slowly as card payments become more popular, Germany is known for its Bargeld (cash) culture, and it's not unusual to pay for expensive items with cash.

READ ALSO: Will the German love affair with cash ever end?

In fact, hardly any other nation likes paying with banknotes as much as the Germans do.

According to Barkow Consulting, only about every 20th payment in Germany is processed by credit card. Statistically speaking, founder Peter Barkow said each German citizen keeps €2,200 cash at home.

Germans carried an average of €103 in their wallets in 2016, a study by the European Central Bank revealed, compared with an average of only €65 in the Eurozone.