City Firm to be 1st Casualty of Nokia Crisis

Published: 24th June 2014 07:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2014 07:13 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  The crisis at Nokia is set to claim the first real casualty in Chennai. City-based BYD Electronics India, one of the component manufactures for the troubled Finnish mobile phone giant, has reportedly informed its employees that its plant at Oragadam will shut down on July 10.

The plant has already ceased functioning after the June 21-22 protest that saw 850 workers temporarily detained.

Union leaders from the New Democratic Labour Front, which has a wing at the plant, told Express on Monday that the company had also announced that the plant would cease operating from July 10.

“The company had announced to the workers on Friday that the company will cease to operate from July 10, the same day on which the VRS offer would run out,” said one of the union leaders.

The 1,500 workers from the plant though seem to be quite happy to leave the company. A Gokila, one of the employees, who spoke with the Express today, said they did not want to force the company to keep the plant open because they knew it was impractical.

“We only want a reasonable settlement. The VRS offer is very low and we want something that is compensate the number of years we have put in at the plant,” she said.

With regard to a negotiated settlement, union members and company authorities met at the Assistant Commissioner of Labour’s office at Irungattukottai in Chennai on Monday to begin negotiating an acceptable solution to both the parties in the presence of TN Labour Department officials.

According to union sources, the workers are asking for a final settlement of `3 lakh each with 8 months salary. BYD’s decision on the figure is unclear since the company officials were unavailable for comment. Unconfirmed reports though, indicate that the company will arrive at a decision on June 30 after consultations with their mother concern.

BYD Electronics India Pvt Ltd. is part of BYD Electronic, a subsidiary of the Chinese automobile and rechargeable battery major BYD Co Limited. The Chennai facility has been in operation since 2008 with Nokia India’s Sriperumbudur plant providing one of its largest sources of demand.

With production at the Nokia India Sriperumbudur plant falling by 75 per cent in less than nine months, BYD Electronics had told its workers that the company could not sustain itself post the drastic reduction in demand and offered a VRS offer of `50,000 plus two months of their basic salary on June 21.


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