Hundreds Of Former Nokia China Employees Protesting Against Mass Layoffs By Microsoft

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As part of the massive layoffs Microsoft announced last month, thousands of former Nokia factory workers will be losing the job. Today, hundreds of Chinese employees from  Nokia factories protested against Microsoft’s decision on mass layoffs. The participated employees posted pictures showing their protest on social media networks as well. The protest took place at former Nokia Beijing research center and factory employing 2,400 people.

Protesters held banners and shouted slogans against “Microsoft’s hostile takeover and violent layoffs” for five hours until “they had sore throats,” said the employee who participated in the demonstration and so declined to be identified.

The protesters would convene on Friday afternoon to discuss demands they would present to the company, the employee said.

Source: Reuters

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • RoadOfMajor

    I love how Microsoft acquires Nokia, then fires most of its work force. It’s like giving someone a hug, but then stabs him in the back.

    Usually after an acquisition, lay offs for employees with overlapping work makes sense, but in this case, they fired a majority of the staff.. and leaves many wondering why they even purchased Nokia in the first place. It’s like Microsoft paid $7.2 Billion just for that shiny blue ‘Nokia’ logo.

    • LexicoRed

      This is what the wiser MS supporters was saying before the deal was done. We could see the purchase was Ballmer doing a CYA for a failing strategy and sadly the board went along but wised up soon afterwords. Don’t forget MS got Elop too… He should have been the first to get a layoff!

      • Orc

        They don’t really need those workers, so its nothing strange that they cut down the workforce.

        • LexicoRed

          I didn’t say it was strange, I said it was a poor decisions and the ramifications of that poor decision is having negative effects on a variety of players, including these worker as well as MS.

          Please read more carefully & and avoid the need to argue for the sake of arguing. Most posters here understand I enjoy thoughtful discussions if they are just that, thoughtful.

      • Joe_HTH

        Um, no! Microsoft bought Nokia’s hardware unit because they were 90% of Windows Phone. If they didn’t, Windows Phone was all but dead.

        • LexicoRed

          So it was an expensive compounding of failing strategy, by a failing CEO.

          Acts of desperation seldom, if ever, leads to anything but prolonging the inevitable except the times it makes thing worst.

    • Krinos

      It seems more like MS only wanted to purchase the relevant parts of Nokia (i.e. the smartphones unit) and Nokia forced them to take the feature phone unit as part of the deal. It was obvious to anyone that MS has no need for a feature phone manufacturing, sales and distribution arm. I’m not exactly sure what they expected MS to do with an unneeded unit employing several thousand people which had about zero relevance to their business. It was just a matter of time until they divested themselves of it.
      Nokia comes out of this like a champ though: keep the money making NSN unit, ditch the money losing smartphone unit and the declining feature phones unit, receive a cool 7 billion dollars and MS gets to be the bad guy when they finally get rid of the feature phone business.

      • Orc

        Of course, the only thing feature phone can bring is scale and simple services, they aren’t part of the business plan.

      • Bugbog

        More like three unneeded lines; Symbian + S40, Asha, and Android X. All, unfortunately, Space, Time, & Money wasting!

        • LexicoRed

          The Asha line was the only thing making Nokia any positive income before Ballmer bought the company. Get rid of it and the millions of dollar losses become 100s of million.

          And with that more layoffs but this time on the US side of the world.

          • Krinos

            Actually, if you look the last quarter that Nokia reported its sales info in detail (Q3 2013) although mobile phones were still eking out a slim profit they were undergoing a huge contraction in sales: -37% YoY net sales and -27% in volume. Lumia handsets on the other hand were still showing growth (+28% net sales / +40% volume) and rising to comprise 45% of D&S sales. If Nokia had broken out their sales figures in the succeeding quarters most likely we’d have seen the Lumia sales become the greater part of sales because of the continuing declining trend in mobile phone sales.
            With smartphones pushing their lower price bracket further down mobile phones’ days as a growing industry are pretty much done. It was just a matter of time before the mobile phone unit would have to downsize and/or shut down altogether. Nokia did the right thing by themselves to jettison a unit participating in such a declining industry – they pushed the responsibility for closing down the involved manufacturing facilities to Microsoft.
            That pretty much left Microsoft’s only option to ‘downsize’ these facilities ASAP.

          • LexcoRed

            The profits you speak of came from feature phones, the part of the division that Microsoft is eliminating with the layoffs. The trend line will only be amplified as the company has seen no success with flagship smartphone and have resign itself to battle at the low end market. And with recent news falling even further behind there.

          • Krinos

            That was Q3 2013, the last reporting period that Nokia provided detailed results. Now, 3 quarters of increasing smartphone penetration later, I highly doubt that the Mobile Phone unit, which was already showing heavily declining sales 3 quarters ago, would still be making profits.

    • Tips_y

      Oh, I didn’t know that laying off (with severance packages) of 12.5 thousand employees out of 32 thousand constitute “most” of the work force.

    • Joe_HTH

      LOL! Microsoft didn’t want Nokia at all. It was Nokia’s board who wanted to dump the hardware business and Microsoft was forced to buy it because they were 90% of Windows Phone. If they didn’t buy it, Windows Phone likely goes bye-bye. Another company would have bought Nokia and done the same exact thing, had Microsoft not bought it.

    • NGM123

      What a knob jockey, if MS hadn’t bought out Nokia they would have gone tits up, then all 32,000 would have been unemployed fool.

  • http://yourig.livejournal.com/ ZloiYuri

    Betrayal is betrayal. Who will trust MS in future and want to be acquired? Employee’s loyalty is a main factor of successful projects developing. They don’t care own employees, do you believe they care users? Me – not at all.

    • Joe_HTH

      Give me friggin’ break. Layoffs are normal when a company is bought. There was no betrayal here. Apple just laid off Beats employees.

      So do me a favor and shut up.

      • http://yourig.livejournal.com/ ZloiYuri

        Who said Apple did something better? So eat me but you are just heartless and soulless MS zombie.

    • dolco

      I don’t believe Russians…

      • http://yourig.livejournal.com/ ZloiYuri

        you are just racist

        • Emi the Strange

          Russian is not a “race”… just saying……

        • longjob

          Russians aren’t even human, just dregs from the bottom of a bucket

  • Tips_y

    To begin with, that was NOT a hostile take-over. It was fully approved by both boards, and went through proper channels.

    I love how people sit in their benches and couches criticizing Microsoft for laying off redundant and unnecessary employees, pretending they care for the dismissed employees, virtually accusing Microsoft of gleefully rubbing their hands in anticipation of dismissing them. How quickly they criticize when they have never run a company (and probably never will) nor probably even manage an office in their life, so don’t understand the occasional need for retrenchment.

    It is a fact of life, whether we like it or not, that Microsoft is in the business of making money and not a charitable organization. It is a huge organization which has existed for decades so there will always be times when there is a need to cull redundant portions of the work force. It is never a pleasant job to cull employees, no matter how huge the corporations get but they also have responsibilities to their investors and the remaining employees and organization as a whole. I’m sure these corporations would rather that they retain the employees but that could result in losses and in the end might mean going under and everybody lose. The most that companies can do is prepare a compensation package for dismissed employees, not because these remove the pain of dismissal but to help in the transition to look for other jobs.

    Finally let me say that I don’t think it’s beyond the pale of the Chinese government to actually orchestrate this demonstration. Their actions of late towards Microsoft is very suspicious and I’m sure there’s more than meets the eye.

    • Krinos

      As much as the Chinese government is having a go at MS, I would think that the workers are legitimately protesting. They’re losing their jobs and that’s terrible for them. Having said that they work in a facility manufacturing feature phones, and that industry just isn’t long for this world. It was just a matter of time before those factories would have had to be decommissioned and by luck or design Microsoft was holding the hot potato when it got dropped.

  • Brent Russell Rucker

    Microsoft is Nokia’s largest patent licensee now.

  • bibleverse1

    I didnt know workers could protest in China. Good for them.

  • Myclevername

    Too bad they can’t protest Tiananmen Square.