After suspension of production at Nokia's plant near here, an employee union fears lay-offs or production halt by the handset maker's major supplier FOXCONN. Uncertainty looms large over the future of the employees of the FOXCONN's plant at Sriperumpudur as there may be lay- offs or suspension of production following poor business, CITU Sriperumpudur Unit's General Secretary R Kannan said.
The Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU) was recently recognised as the employee union at FOXCONN. Revenue from the FOXCONN facility here has dwindled following the suspension of production at Nokia plant in Sriperumpudur last month, Kannan said. "About 70 per cent of our products were supplied to Nokia. Remaining 30 per cent we were exporting to China and Vietnam. Now, they say the sales has been declined and there was no business..", the official told PTI.
When contacted, a Tamil Nadu Government official said not only FOXCONN but several ancillary units that have been supplying parts to Nokia also had seen impact on their revenue. FOXCONN officials could not be reached for comments. "Already 3000 people were offered Voluntary Retirement two years ago.
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The employee strength which was once around 6,000 has come to 2,500. And now there are only 1,306 permanent employees working at the facility," Kannan said. "When the plant became operational, the unit was producing parts and other electronic equipment for Sony and Motorola. But after that project was over, we were doing it for Nokia and to Nokia Siemens Network. Now they are saying that due to poor revenue, they will be suspending production", the official said.
CITU General Secretary and MLA A Sounderrajan said the Government should come forward and save the lives of employees. "Already people have lost jobs after Nokia exit from Tamil Nadu, that should not happen again. The state governments should come forward and revive the facility," he said.
The government official said several ancillary units that were supplying to Nokia had taken a hit in their business. "For Foxconn, it looks like the company may downsize some of the employees as one of the two units is inside the Nokia Special Economic Zone unit while the other is under SIPCOT land", the government official who did not want to be named told PTI. "We expect that there could be problem in the operation of one unit which is present at Nokia SEZ. We have contacted the management. We are yet to get a clear picture," the official said.