'Revolting': French workers at Nokia-owned plant protest layoffs

'Revolting': French workers at Nokia-owned plant protest layoffs

Workers protest over job cuts at Nokia in France
Employees of Nokia demonstrate during a strike called by unions in front of the Nokia Paris-Saclay campus in Nozay, near Paris, France, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS: Several hundred workers at French firm Alcatel-Lucent International on Tuesday (Jun 30) protested against plans by parent company Nokia Oyj to cut 1,233 jobs.

Nokia, which bought Alcatel-Lucent five years ago, has said most of the layoffs would come from research and development (R&D) teams. Unions say this is incomprehensible when Europe is preparing to deploy the next generation mobile network.

"It's absolutely revolting," said employee Pascal Guilheneuf, a member of the CFDT union, adding that about 80per cent of the cuts were coming from R&D.

Nokia says it will continue to be a major employer in France with a strong foothold in R&D.

The protesters chained wooden palettes across the access road to the company's facility in Nozay outside Paris and wore T-shirts with the slogan "Hands off my job".

Workers said more automation could not replace them.

"When you're adding new functionality, you cannot automate its introduction," said Isabelle Guillemot. "We already use robots for all the weak spots."

Source: Reuters