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Nokia employees strike work after talks fail

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Production at Nokia's factory at Sriperumbudur, near here, was hit by an employees’ strike which began at the end of the first shift of operations.

They wanted better pay terms and reinstatement of workers who were suspended in January this year. Work at the plant has been disrupted since this evening.

The India Employees Progressive Union held discussions with the management on Monday. “The wage settlement offered by company is quite low. We are not happy with that,” said Union sources.

The company said the wages offered were after due consideration, including benchmarking with the industry standards on similar skill sets and experience."The long-term wages being offered to our employees is among the highest in the region in similar industries," said the company.

In an e-mailed statement, it said the management had been "constrained" in January to initiate enquiry proceedings against 60 employees for charges of serious misconduct,placing them under suspension.

Adding: "The neutral external enquiry officers appointed for the purpose have completed the enquiry proceedings and have submitted their reports to the management. At this stage, the management have offered to revoke the suspension order of all the employees currently under suspension, pending completion of the remaining legal process of disciplinary proceedings, based on evaluation of findings of the domestic enquiry proceedings."

Nokia India reported a 20 per cent increase in exports in 2009-10, at Rs 12,000 crore as compared to Rs 10,000 crore in 2008-09. The company's facility at Sriperumbudur has now become the largest exporter in terms of value among all the special economic zones in the country, and for Nokia compared to its other facilities.

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