Nokia's Chennai workers halt strike; to approach labour department

The sit-in strike at Nokia's Chennai factory has been temporarily suspended following a response from the labour department, which has given time to the agitating employees and company management to settle the dispute.

According to CNBC-TV18, Nokia employees went on a sit-in strike on Thursday after the company came out with its revised proposal for a salary hike of Rs200, which the employees were not happy with. Nokia has close to 8,000 employees in its Chennai plant. The strike has been suspended temporarily as the employees will be approaching the labour commissioner in Chennai and will be negotiating the salary.

When contacted for response, Nokia said, "Nokia internally announced salary increases as part of its salary review process for its operator employees at the Chennai factory. This was communicated in a face-to-face meeting today. However, some of the employees were dissatisfied resulting in disruption of work. Normal operations were restored shortly thereafter and the factory is working on schedule. We have open communication channels with employees and are engaged with them through elected employee representatives. We are committed to our people and abide by all rules and regulations and remain the best in class employer."

­The strike began on Friday morning following the new pay proposal from the company which was not accepted by the agitating members.

According to some reports, 8,000 workers participated in the strike, and production of 300,000 handsets was affected.

Talking to the media, an employee said that the demand for a hike in pay was raised last year. This year too no hike was sanctioned due to the recession. The proposed new pay scales, according to the employee, did not make any material difference.