Nokia said it is committed to creating research and development roles in France after a decision to cut jobs in the country came under fire from President Emmanuel Macron.
In 2016, when Macron was economy minister, he approved the takeover after Nokia pledged to hire 500 research and development staff in the country. However, the French President said Nokia’s plan to layoff staff was not in keeping with promises it made when it acquired Alcatel-Lucent in 2016.
At the time, Nokia said it would employ 4,200 people for two years. However, after it announced plans to cut 600 jobs in central and support areas in September, trade unions and the government have been looking into whether it breached its pledges.
“A very clear commitment has been made: no cuts from the 4,200 jobs…and something else important, 2,500 jobs in R&D in total before the end of the 2018,” Reuters reported junior economy minister Benjamin Griveaux as saying.
Nokia’s plan was to implement the cuts by end-2019, with the reductions coming from Alcatel-Lucent International and Nokia Solutions Networks France. The layoffs form part of a wider €1.2 billion cost-cutting exercise.
It was later said the plans were suspended until an early October meeting between French ministers, the company’s management and unions.
Now, trade unionists say the process for implementing job cuts would resume within ten days and Nokia will have created 330 of the 500 promised jobs in research and development by the end of this year.