back to article Outrage over Nokia factory closure

German politicians will investigate whether Nokia took unfair advantage of state and EU subsidies after it announced the closure of its handset assembly plant in Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nokia employed more than 2,300 people there in exchange for EU subsidies. Nokia said production of mobile devices in Germany was no …

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Inevitible!

Not the first company to do this, and won't be the last. Sign of the times, and the joys of a wider Europe. This type of economic migration (jobs heading east) is just the opposite side of the coin (workers heading west).

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Anonymous Coward

What the...?

Presumably, then, as the owner of a business, I must let my employees tell me how many of them to hire and where I can set up shop? Obviously I don't know whether I'm making money on a given operation, and so I should just let the guys on the machine shop floor figure it out for me. Or else I'm "breaking societies".

Jeez.

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Gold badge

Production cost.

Says something about how well Trades Union understand business if they can glibly refer to the potential labour cost saving as *only* five percent of production cost.

Selling your product at a 5% premium over your competitors and relying on brand loyalty and the altruism of your customers to avoid going bust is a great business model now, isn't it?

Muppets.

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Anonymous Coward

Nokia...

Connecting workers bottoms to the end of a big fat corporate todger.

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Anonymous Coward

and what happened to Siemens' mobile plants...

.. and all those people who thought they had a job there. Anyone remember these news http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4277491/ from 2004 before Siemens sold their mobile business and it went kaput.

Yes its sad but that's the way it goes. No reason to single out Nokia more than any other company, domestic or foreign.

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pot, meet kettle

and I'm sure the local governments had no moral delemma when they poached the factory from somewhere else.

Next time, they should smarten up and put a minmum commitment period in the subsidy, or make it longer.

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Anonymous Coward

Idealist to cynic in easy steps

I used to put my heart and soul into my work, I gave it 11/10ths and always went the extra mile. I did some awesome stuff that really made a difference, and my employers reaped big additional profits from my skill and dedication.

I've been outsourced/globalized twice now, once by a big multinational (which did it quite nicely, leaving my motivation largely intact) and once by a mid-size Nasdaq-listed American company (which left me owed money).

On the one hand I'm a capitalist and I believe that companies should do what they need to do, but on the other hand as an employee I will never again give 11/10ths or do all those special things that companies love you to do.

Maybe the only great employees are ones who haven't been screwed yet and the only great employers are the ones who haven't screwed you yet. Life's a bitch, ain't it?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Exactly. Guess why I eventually went contracting. Nothing like being your own boss if you don't like being outsourced after years of giving 11/10ths of yourself.

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Boffin

Check the tin

if you read the label, it says "Capitalism" right here...

it's right in the name, isn't it? Capital, as in "money", which tells everybody what is most important. that 5% is THE significant consideration in a system that nurtures and protects money ("Capital").

please note, i do not condemn or criticize, i merely point out that, when you get a hammer, it is best at driving in nails, and less good for everything else. once you got yourself a hammer, it's rather silly to complain that you can't take out a Phillips-head screw with it. you should get a screwdriver, that's what they're for.

if you wanted something that would care for people, it would be Populism, and if you wanted to nurture society, you'd get Socialism. Communism, unfortunately, does not scale well; it only works in small communal groups, like Eskimo tribes or the early Christians.

that would be why the contracting AC has it right. if you live in a Capitalist state, like the US (in my case), you should incorporate, because the US takes much better care of an S Corp, than it does of a human being.

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Unhappy

Too right Chad.

Chad H.....

Too right. I live near Carlton-in-Lindrick. The Nokia plant closed there about 5 years ago. The main employer in the area. Our German friends weren't upset when they got some of the work from there.

This is how it is all heading. I worked in Manufacturing for 30 years. Now I work in development for the same company but I bet you can guess where the majority of our

manufacturing has gone (Rhymes with miner).

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Stumped..

What rhymes with "miner"?? Please bear in mind that I haven't slept in days so please, be gentle if it's really obvious :-)

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Coat

As soon as I clicked "post comment"..

My brain had a dump and I could swear I heard a little muffled voice say "china"

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Race to the bottom.

It's a race to the bottom. Which government will allow their people to be exploited the most by multinational companies? That's the real meaning of "globalization". It's not about creating a smaller, better world for people, it's about creating a richer world for a very small number of large corporations. Unfortunately, local governments keep falling for the same song and dance year after year. Ireland spent millions attracting certain manufacturers there, only to have them vanish as soon as the money couldn't be grabbed back. All over the USA it's the same thing.

So long as governments stop at artificial lines, and corporations can cross those lines, the corporations will play one off against the other again and again. They've been doing it for centuries, and will continue until they're either stopped, or they become the government.

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@ "miner" and Chad H

Yes, I also wondered what rimed with "miner" and until I saw the China comment I would never have worked it out. Sadle, China does not rhyme with "miner", unless you have an extremely odd accent. "Chiner" could rhyme with "miner", as would "diner", "finer", "whiner" and whole host of others. And even given they crappy non-rhyming 'rhyme', it was unclear that you meant a place - your clue was "manufacturing has gone". I thought you meant the situation, not the place to which it went. That was unnecessarily obscure.

Anyway. Chad H: "Next time, they should smarten up and put a minmum commitment period in the subsidy"

Please read the sentence below again (from the article):

"German politicians now believe Nokia already knew it was going to close the doors on its plant in Bochum and relocate when the required period of retention ran out late in 2006."

Destroying societies my arse. It happens, live with it. They're in it to make money, as our over-exemplifying friend with the capitalism comments pointed out. You go to them to make money, they go to Romania to make money. It's unpleasant, but it's happened to most of us at some point or another. Stop snivelling and find another job.

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Coat

Social responsibility

Nokia is now strongest mobile brand in Germany, and I am sure that their local presence had helped to achieve this. If Nokia intends to save money by going elsewhere, it would only be human if their sparkling image is leaving, too. If their sales dive down in Europe's largest mobile market, than it would be clearly a lesson learnt for some business execs out there.

Baseline, as humans and as consumers Germans do not need to care about the financial motivation of large corporations. That is capitalism, too, I have my own selfish reasons for selecting products out there.

Also, my advise to the guys living at Carlton-in-Lindrick: do not by Nokia anymore if you have a choice.

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Ausgezeichnet

Did it not occur to anyone in Germany that subsidising a company like Nokia, who operate in a very profitable and expanding industry, and are perfectly capable of making money without help, is moronic? It amounts to a bribe to keep down the unemployment figures long enough to get relected. That's taxpayers' money being used for political purposes.

To make it clear, the German and EU governments are to blame, not Nokia. If Nokia did take the money and run, it serves the bureaucrats for running a subsidies program in the first place. If Germany took away the subsidies and put the money and effort into growing a spine and deregulating their labour market, then not only would companies move into Germany, they'd actually stay.

First step, outsource all the union parasites into the middle of the Baltic Sea.

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Northern Ireland effect

Deja Vu, happened regularly - period up - factory closed - contents move to lower cost country.

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It's our own fault

We all want to pay peanuts for a our gadgets (including those that worked at the factory no doubt) so what do we expect companies to do?

If you want your goods manufactured in the UK or western Europe, you'll have to pay a bit more.

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A plague....

...of locusts? As a redundant ex-nokia emplyee (No need for a capital letter here) the lofty precepts and PR bullshit of the company are totally at variance to reality.

See the piccie. (Don't bother about the Finnish - placard says it all...)

Nokia - "Connecting People". Shit, even the SMS alert on their earler phones had it in Morse. Bollox.

Can we have a "Deleting People" ringtone - pleeeeth???????

http://www.hs.fi/talous/artikkeli/Lehti+Nokian+Bochumin-tehdas+teki+voittoa+134+miljoonaa/1135233674732

</coat> <dole>

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