Minister for Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen said that Nokia’s proposed structural changes could be a threat to research and development work in Finland.
Nokia will cut jobs in the wake of its deal with Microsoft to use the Windows Phone operating system. The company will significantly reduce research and development spending.
"There will be substantial reductions in employment in various locations around the world and that too will affect Finland," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told reporters in London. "We don't have any specific comments about who and what level of people will be hit."
”You’re talking about 20,000 people, it’s a big number,” said Pekkarinen.
”We’re talking about far and away the biggest process of structural change that Finland has ever seen in the new technology sector.”
According to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the company has already discussed redundancies with the Finnish government.
Pekkarinen said that the government was preparing to help areas that would be badly affected by any changes, and would work with Nokia to mitigate the effects of any job cuts.
Nokia said it had spoken to the Finnish government about the planned reduction in research and development spending.Nokia employees were told about the coming changes at a meeting in Tampere this morning, but no mention was made of redundancies. Around 3,000 Nokia employees work in Tampere.
"Feelings are mixed," said senior shop steward Kalle Kiili after the meeting.
According to Kiili Pekkarinen's statement came as a surprise, as an end to Symbian development had not been announced at the meeting.
"Today's news was that we carry on for the time being," said Kiili. "Now Pekkarinen says that Symbian will be shut down, that big structural changes are coming, and that the government will help Nokia employees find new jobs. We just agreed on structural changes within Symbian, and there were big job cuts."