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Nokia to cut jobs, says slow 5G progress not cause for layoffs


Helsinki: Finnish telecommunication giant Nokia on Tuesday announced its plans to cut jobs, media reported.

Nokia gave 350 as a layoff target in Finland, and said the figures in France and Germany would be higher, but did not specify.

However, the company denied that the cuts would be related to the slower than expected launch of 5G technology, Xinhua news agency reported.

Instead, the aim is to make operations more efficient as the consolidation after the purchase of the French Alcatel-Lucent has been completed.

Tommi Uitto, director in charge of Nokia's operations in Finland, said the changes are "necessary". The cutbacks are part of 700-million-euro (about $798.7 million) savings announced in October 2018. Thereafter Marc Rouanne, one of the key directors, left the company.

In France, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) accused Nokia on Tuesday of attempting to improve profitability through shifting work to countries where labour costs are lower than in France.

Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat quoted the union as saying that Nokia has broken its 2016 promise to the then finance minister Emmanuel Macron that staff size at Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs would remain at 4,200 for two years.

CGT claimed that Nokia had also broken its pledge to employ 2,500 new staffers in research and development. Helsingin Sanomat economics writer Petri Sajari said the French unions could turn the Nokia cutbacks against President Macron.

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Nokia currently employs 100,000 people worldwide, 6,000 of them in Finland.

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