Nokia agrees pay-off for German workers, but questions remain

While the dispute with its German workers seems to be drawing to a close - following a €200 million offer, Nokia has refused to comply with a demand from the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) to return over €40 million in subsidies.

Having caused significant disquiet among the German population--and the political elite--the abrupt notice that it intended to close its only manufacturing plant in Germany turned into a PR disaster for Nokia. However, the company says its offer of a €200 million severance package for the 2,300 workers has been accepted, with Nokia's executive VP and supervisory board chair, Veli Sundbäck claiming that the company had agreed on a fair and responsible social plan.

Whether this move will stop the NRW from proceeding with its legal action to force Nokia to return the €41 million it received in local state subsidies remains unclear. Nokia has stated that it will resist any actions, and a truce might be possible given the comment from Jürgen Rüttgers, Minister-President of NRW, stating that he welcomed the news.

 For more on this story:
- read AFP and The Register

Related story: Nokia to open R&D centre in Switzerland

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