In 2015, Nokia announced that it would acquire Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6 billion to strengthen its position against its rivals. However, the merger came with lots of risks including the jobs. During the merger, the French government clearly stated that protecting research jobs in the country must be the topmost priority.
As a result, Nokia had to cut its head strength in other countries, including Finland and Germany. Even in 2019, Nokia was planning to cut some jobs in France, but they had to postpone it after seeing a huge backlash from the French government and the unions.
As per Nokia spokeswoman, Nokia is now free from such duties that they held with the French government since the merger. Currently, Nokia has 5138 employees in France, including the 3640 employees who are placed in Alcatel Lucent International.
Nokia will cut 1233 jobs (one-third) from the Alcatel-Lucent division in France. Of the total, 831 jobs belong to the Nozay site, and 402 jobs belong to the Lannion site. After the announcement, the CFE-CGC union delegates and the Lannion site mayor have reacted strongly against the job cuts.
CFE-CGC union posted on its website saying,
“It’s just a low-cost strategy that is being implemented, contrary to all the commitments made by Nokia in France. Nokia is laughing at everyone, first and foremost the French government.”
Everybody working there is stunned by Nokia’s decision, though the details of the positions involved has not been disclosed yet.
Thierry Boisnon, President, Nokia France, posted a statement on Nokia’s behalf saying,
“Nokia will continue to be a major employer in France with a strong foothold in R&D, sales and services, which will enable us to develop and execute our customers’ projects efficiently.”
For Nokia, staff reduction was needed because of “very important” pressures on costs in the market. However, job cuts are never easy for the ones who are going to lose their jobs.
To some relief, Nokia intends to limit the social impact of this transformation project by proposing a voluntary departure plan where possible, and by offering reclassification solutions tailored to the personal situation of each employee concerned.