The loss of up to 1,100 positions at former Nokia businesses in Finland sparked a range of emotions among the country’s politicians, including anger and disappointment, as well as leading to a call for the US company to support those losing their jobs.
Microsoft announced its intention this week to axe 18,000 positions over the next year, including 12,500 that related to the integration of the Nokia Devices & Services unit it acquired earlier this year.
“Microsoft’s intention to reduce jobs also in Finland is the bad news we feared,” said Lauri Ihalainen, Finland’s Minister of Labour. “The least that can be now expected is that it creates a credible support package to those it lets go, similar to what was done with those let go from Nokia.”
Ihalainen was quoted by Bloomberg.
During its many years of struggle, Nokia had put in place an initiative called Bridge, “designed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship with employees affected by Nokia’s workforce alignment initiatives”.
Nearly one quarter of the 4,700 jobs in Finland that came with the handset unit’s purchase by Microsoft face the axe.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Alexander Stubb described the redundancies as “extremely regrettable” and said the country’s government would do its bit to soften the pain felt by those leaving their jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal.
However, others took a harsher line, alleging that Microsoft went back on promises about job security made when it was in the process of acquiring Nokia’s handset business.
“You can say we were betrayed,” said Antti Rinne, Finland’s newly-appointed Minister of Finance.
Finland’s politicians have previously criticised the level of payments made to Stephen Elop, former CEO of Nokia, following the sale of the handset business to Microsoft.