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Bigger risk of Finnish job cuts in Nokia-Alcatel deal: minister

Friday, April 17, 2015 - 21:32
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Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne said on Friday that Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia's takeover of rival Alcatel-Lucent will put more jobs at risk in Finland than in France.

[HELSINKI] Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne said on Friday that Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia's takeover of rival Alcatel-Lucent will put more jobs at risk in Finland than in France.

Mr Rinne told the online edition of Finland's Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet that he shared concerns expressed by the Finnish engineers' union, since it was easier to let go of staff in Finland than in France.

"There is a bigger risk in Finland that people will lose their jobs," he said.

Mr Rinne's comments came amid last-minute campaigning for Finland's legislative elections on Sunday.

Polls suggest voters plan to oust the current left-right government for failing to pull the country out of a three-year economic slump.

"In Finland it's cheaper to let people go," Mr Rinne explained.

According to the Finnish engineers' union, firing a French middle-management employee with 15 years experience and a monthly net salary of 3,000 euros costs around 50,000 euros.

In Finland, the amount is significantly lower, or even zero if the employee works until the end of his or her notice period.

At a press conference at Nokia's headquarters on Friday, chief executive Rajeev Suri reiterated his hope that jobs will be preserved in the long-term in Finland and France following the buyout.

Earlier this week, Nokia announced a 15.6-billion-euro bid to buy Alcatel-Lucent.

AFP