The world’s biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia of Finland, is planning to close its production plant in Bochum, north west Germany, by the middle of this year and 2,300 workers will lose their jobs.
Many were distraught when they were told. One woman said: “We have worked here for such a long time and the way of telling us one hour before the public announcement is just not okay, especially because we have been always flexible and we have done a lot for the company, i.e. overtime and additional shifts and so on and then they tell us, just like that, we weren’t good enough for them any more.”
Nokia announced production is being moved to more competitive plants in Europe, mainly Romania where it is investing sixty million euros in a new factory, but also Hungary. Executive vice president, Veli Sundbaeck, who heads Nokia’s operations in Germany, said: “The factory closure is necessary to secure the long-term competitiveness of Nokia.”
Bochum is in the Ruhr valley, an economically depressed region that has already lost its historic mining and steelmaking industries.