Update: Nokia closure plan sparks protests

Nokia's decision to close its German handset plant has sparked a political storm with a number of government ministers and senior politicians announcing their intention to personally boycott Nokia phones. Trade union leaders weighed in with calls to German shoppers to "consider the disastrous effects of this company's behaviour on thousands of employees." The giant German trade union IG Metall believes that labour costs, the reason cited by Nokia for the closure, only equated to five per cent of production costs. There are also claims by German politicians that Nokia took unfair advantage of national and EU subsidies. For its Bochum plant Nokia received €60 million in subsidies from the EU and another €28 million from the German government. Efforts to hold talks with Nokia seem to have fallen on stony ground with a Nokia spokesman announcing that the company would not enter into discussions with the German authorities about keeping handset manufacturing going at Bochum.

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