PARIS (Reuters) – Several hundred workers at French firm Alcatel-Lucent International on Tuesday protested against plans by parent company Nokia Oyj <NOKIA.HE> to cut 1,233 jobs.
Nokia, which bought Alcatel-Lucent five years ago, has said most of the layoffs would come from research and development (R&D) teams. Unions say this is incomprehensible when Europe is preparing to deploy the next generation mobile network.
“It’s absolutely revolting,” said employee Pascal Guilheneuf, a member of the CFDT union, adding that about 80% of the cuts were coming from R&D.
Nokia says it will continue to be a major employer in France with a strong foothold in R&D.
The protesters chained wooden palettes across the access road to the company’s facility in Nozay outside Paris and wore T-shirts with the slogan “Hands off my job”.
Workers said more automation could not replace them.
“When you’re adding new functionality, you cannot automate its introduction,” said Isabelle Guillemot. “We already use robots for all the weak spots.”
(Reporting by Benoit Tessier; Editing by Richard Lough and Edmund Blair)