In a deal that signifies the growing importance of its Chennai facility to its comeback plans, Finnish handset maker Nokia entered into a wage pact that could see salaries of about one-third of its employees going up 200%.
Five sources ET spoke to said about 3,000 employees of the total 9,000 working at the facility will now earn . 21,000 a month, up from the . 7,000 they were taking home earlier. Other employees will also receive hikes of varying degrees. The three-year accord, which was signed in the presence of a CITU official, also indicated the rising clout of the Left-backed trade union in Chennai’s Sriperumbudur manufacturing belt, where other multinationals such as Hyundai, Dell and Caparo have set up factories.
The agreement, signed recently in the presence of assistant labour commissioner Dharmaseelan and A Soundararajan, state general secretary of CITU, is for the period from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016. “There were 20 rounds of negotiations that took place at the factory with the company officials, local office bearers and CITU. Finally, on March 4, we signed an agreement,” said Soundararajan. Nokia, once the undisputed leader in mobile phones sales, has been steadily losing market share to rivals such as Samsung and Apple, who have dominated the smartphone segment in the past couple of years.
It is hoping to win back some of the lost ground through its Lumia series of smartphones that it introduced recently. It is also battling a tax claim by Indian authorities, who allege the company has defaulted . 3,000 crore by improper accounting practices.
Source : The Economics Times