Tens of thousands of people have joined a protest march in west Germany, outraged at Nokia’s plans to close its factory there with the loss of more than 2,300 jobs. The Finnish mobile phone maker shocked the country when it announced last week that it was going to transfer production from Bochum to Romania, where labour is cheaper.
Several politicians have publicly ditched their Nokia phones and joined calls for a boycott. Spokesperson for the IG Metall trade union, Ulrike Kleinbaum said: “They did not give the union any space to argue. But the union does not give in that easily so more talks will follow.”
Bochum is a a region which has already suffered from the closure of coal mines. One local man said: “The business situation in Germany is dreadful for the working classes and it is getting worse.”
Some local politicians have threatened to demand the return of state support given to Nokia – around 80 million euros.