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Nokia employees in TN plant to hold hunger strike

PTI     March 29, 2014

A section of employees of Finnish handset maker Nokia's plant at Sriperumbudur in south India are getting ready for one day huger strike on March 31.

The employees announced the strike here the other day seeking job security to them in the wake of Nokia-Microsoft deal.

The Nokia India Employees Union also decided to further step up their protest post the Lok Sabha elections, its Honorary President, A Soundararajan said.

"The Central and the state Governments should come forward and ensure that the due to the transfer of assets of Nokia to Microsoft (as per the $7.2 billion deal), there should not be any job losses. We have decided to stage a one-day hunger strike on March 31 in this regard", Soundararajan said in Chennai.

"We cannot allow retrenchment or closure of the plant. We will not permit that to happen", he said.

Another Nokia India Employees Union official said the company has entirely moved the manufacturing of its highly popular "Asha" range of mobile phones to other manufacturing plants and only produces low end mobile handsets from the Chennai plant.

The Union has also planned to get the support of various political parties and other employee Unions as part of the one-day hunger strike, he said.

On March 14, in a jolt to the employees, the Supreme Court ordered Nokia India to give Rs 3,500 Crore as a guarantee before it transfers the plant to Microsoft.

The apex court upheld the Delhi High Court verdict which is currently facing an income tax dispute.

The Tamil Nadu Government also slammed a Rs 2,400 crore notice to Nokia saying the company had been selling the products produced from Chennai plant to domestic market instead of shipping overseas.

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