Microsoft workers in China protest mass layoffs at Nokia division

Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history, with 18,000 jobs being cut from its worldwide workforce. More than two-thirds of those layoffs - around 12,500 in total - will affect staff at its Nokia division, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year. 

The extent to which the cuts will affect former Nokia employees has proven to be a particularly contentious issue. Finland's Finance Minister, Antti Rinne, spoke of disappointment in Microsoft after the announcement, but employees themselves are now expressing their own dissatisfaction with protests against the layoffs. 

As Reuters reports, hundreds of staff at a Nokia research facility and factory in Beijing, China held a protest today, waving banners and shouting slogans for five hours until "they had sore throats", according to one of the employees present at the demonstration. The worker described the protest as standing against "Microsoft's hostile takeover and violent layoffs". 

The protesters are reportedly planning to present a series of 'demands' to Microsoft, although it is currently unclear exactly what the employees will ask of the company. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft is facing further problems in China of a very different nature. Earlier this week, Microsoft offices in four cities across China were raided by authorities as part of a government investigation, reportedly related to "unfair trade" concerns

Source: Reuters

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24 Comments

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I remember when the deal was finalized (or before) that Chinese Nokia employees protested then too. I don't think there is any nice way to solve this. As for how this relates to the "raid" is mystery; I really don't get what the Chinese government is trying to accomplish other than special treatment.

Losing your job is not an easy thing, people lose stable income, position, have to start searching again, go through interviews, postponed paying loans, delay purchases, etc.

It is even harder if someone decided to specialize in something specifically for that company that not many other companies use, now he/she have to start again and learn new technologies.

But still, businesses are not charities, I hope they give them a proper notice and compensation.

So "violent layoffs" means, Microsoft rounded them up and butchered them to death ?

They are just ###### off because now they don't get good pay and now need to work like the rest of the Chinese, just a bowl of rice as payment

That's the problem. these people are now unemployed and any pay is going to be difficult. microsoft should feel bad for laying off that many workers when the company makes such massive profits.

EvilAstroboy said,
So "violent layoffs" means, Microsoft rounded them up and butchered them to death ?

They are just ###### off because now they don't get good pay and now need to work like the rest of the Chinese, just a bowl of rice as payment

Many of the people laid off were Finnish who had been transplanted to China.

sweatshopking said,
That's the problem. these people are now unemployed and any pay is going to be difficult. microsoft should feel bad for laying off that many workers when the company makes such massive profits.

Well then, Chinese Government should increase the min wage or are they to Greedy ?
Not Microsoft fault the Min wage is a bowl of Rice

I don't recall Microsoft's purchase of Nokia ever being referred to as a "hostile" takeover before. Hell, even Nokia's CEO is now part of Microsoft. Not sure that would've happened if Microsoft went around the board and directly to shareholders.

LogicalApex said,
Likely you don't keep up with these sort of things? Microsoft's purchase of Nokia was called hostile many times. Some shareholders are even suing due to their claim that Elop was merely a Trojan Horse who was put into place to secure Nokia for Microsoft at a cheap price.

http://www.theguardian.com/tec...tephen-elop-microsoft-nokia

Microsoft are actually controlled by aliens from the planet Altair, don'tcha know. Nokia are also aliens but they're from a planet called Espoo. These two alien races have been warring for 40 trillian millennia. Steve Ballmer, an Alterian has been the secret lover of Steven Elop, an Espoosian, for thirty thousand years. What's happening now is their attempt to turn the feud into an intergalactic Romeo and Juliet.

Well, at least my conspiracy theory is a bit more entertaining than yours.

Truth is, Nokia failed big time. Microsoft bought them and laid off the failures. What's unusual about that?

Major_Plonquer said,

Microsoft are actually controlled by aliens from the planet Altair, don'tcha know. Nokia are also aliens but they're from a planet called Espoo. These two alien races have been warring for 40 trillian millennia. Steve Ballmer, an Alterian has been the secret lover of Steven Elop, an Espoosian, for thirty thousand years. What's happening now is their attempt to turn the feud into an intergalactic Romeo and Juliet.

Well, at least my conspiracy theory is a bit more entertaining than yours.

Truth is, Nokia failed big time. Microsoft bought them and laid off the failures. What's unusual about that?

I never said I agreed that Elop was a Trojan Horse or what my position was at all on the matter. I simply stated that claims have been raised in the past about the merger...

This is going to be a continuing saga between Microsoft and China. It'll be challenging especially for Microsoft.

Hethler said,
This is going to be a continuing saga between Microsoft and China. It'll be challenging especially for Microsoft.

if china detests microsoft so much, why the f do they still use windows? shoulndt they dump it for a debian based distro of their own and be proud? i hate people like that - they use something made by the people they hate

Enron said,
If we hate China so much, why do we keep buying stuff made in China and why are we manufacturing things there?

i dont know who "we" is, personally, i dont hate anyone

Deyirn said,

if china detests microsoft so much, why the f do they still use windows? shoulndt they dump it for a debian based distro of their own and be proud? i hate people like that - they use something made by the people they hate

Because most of them didn't pay for it but still got all those updates for freebs because it had such shoddy validation built in.

Nobody actually wants something like Debian en masse for desktop. Nobody wants _any_ Linux unless a major for-profit corporation twists it into something commercial first (Android/Chrome OS).

Deyirn said,

if china detests microsoft so much, why the f do they still use windows? shoulndt they dump it for a debian based distro of their own and be proud? i hate people like that - they use something made by the people they hate

You don't have to like the companies behind the products and services you utilize. I mean, I dislike Comcast, AT&T, and Samsung but I'm still tied to them if but only for the reason that they suck less than other services...

Deyirn said,

if china detests microsoft so much, why the f do they still use windows? shoulndt they dump it for a debian based distro of their own and be proud? i hate people like that - they use something made by the people they hate

For many years China had a Debian distro called Red Flag Linux that was designed specifically for the government to use. It was so crappy President Hu Jintao flew to Seattle and personally signed an agreement to replace all Linux systems in the Chinese government with Windows. Bill Gates signed the agreement.

This agreement did not include Windows 8 which is why the Chinese are putting pressure on Microsoft. They want a discount. The idea of China going back to Linux is simply laughable. It was crap then and it's crap today.

Are these "protesters" actually people who got laid off or are they a bunch of people with no standing in the situation just making noise?

Enron said,
Are these "protesters" actually people who got laid off or are they a bunch of people with no standing in the situation just making noise?

They're likely the people who drove Nokia into the ground in the first place and deserve to go.

Major_Plonquer said,

They're likely the people who drove Nokia into the ground in the first place and deserve to go.

Elop was in the crowd then.