Two months ago Nokia announced that they’d be cutting 3,500 jobs and closing their factory in Romania. They said the factory would be shut down “by the end of the year”, so folks thought that meant the last day of 2011. That doesn’t seem to be the case as Nokia laid off 500 people last friday, the 25th of November, and the rest are expected to go by the end of tomorrow, the 30th. Valentin Ilcas, Leader of the Nokia Metal Union, summarizes the event in a piece published on Business Review:
“The rest up to 1,830 employees will leave gradually until November 30, and the production activity in the plant will cease after this date. Only those who take production lines apart to move them somewhere else, to a plant in Asia, will remain. The activity stops at Nokia Jucu due to lack of orders. By November 30, the ongoing orders will be met, and then it’s over. The employees will be paid by Nokia between December and March and in April they will receive the compensation packages negotiated with the management of the company.”
To make things “better”, which is quite possibly the worst term to use in a situation like this where someone loses their job, Nokia is going to have an Oprah moment and give everyone who worked at the factory a free device. Is it the Nokia N9? Nope. How about something with an awesome camera, like the Nokia N8? Nope, guess again. Nokia is going to give away the Nokia 500, quite possible the lowest end smartphone that the company currently sells. Had it been a Nokia 603 or 700, we would have said that’s a fairly decent gift, but the Nokia 500 is the ultimate slap in the face.
At least the children of the soon to be unemployed mothers and fathers of Nokia’s factory workers will get a new phone for Christmas.
[Additional reading: Romanian Business Insider]