Left leaders to take up Nokia workers' cause with Centre
CHENNAI: Leaders of Left parties are planning to take up the cause of the workers at mobile phone maker Nokia's factory near Chennai who face an uncertain future due to the company's unresolved dispute with the taxman.
The 8,000 workers at the plant find themselves in a spot in the backdrop of Nokia's global acquisition for over $7 billion by Microsoft. That is because , by December 12, as decided mutually by Nokia and Microsoft, the former's assets in Sriperumbudur need to be available for transfer.
If not, the plant will be dropped from the deal. With less than a week to go for the deadline, the assets remain unavailable for transfer. "In the worst case," Finland Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja told journalists from India recently, "it could lead to the closing down of the Chennai plant".
TK Rangarajan, a CPM Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, told ET that he is planning to meet Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram next week to find a solution. D Raja, secretary of CPI, and MP from Tamil Nadu, said his party will take this up with the Centre. "Nokia was presented as a big success story, right? This is all a result of liberalisation of policies," said Raja.
The plan of the Communist leaders follows the decision taken a few days back by the Nokia India Employees' Union to implead in an ongoing court case between the Income-Tax Department and Nokia. G Udayakumar, advisor to the union, confirming the move, said the idea was agreed to by A Soundararajan, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, attached to CPM.
Udayakumar said, "If we go for an agitation, the management can point to this as a mistake and can wash their hands off and go. That won't be the solution." The union has written letters to the PM and the finance minister requesting their intervention in this issue.
Again I am not able to provide a link, thank you Yahoo, but the workers now seem to blame it all on Nokia- Check Indian media if you want to know more. Nokia will have a really really bad Monday :
The workers union of Nokia India’s Chennai facility — the Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam — which is all set to move the Delhi High court on Saturday has blamed the Finnish mobile major for the current mess in the deal with Microsoft.
The union has said it will make a plea in the court to ensure that Nokia cannot go back from its commitment that workers will be a part of Microsoft, post the conclusion of the $7.2-billion deal.
Speaking to FE on Friday, M Saravana Kumar, president, Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam, said: “We have no clue over Nokia’s understanding with Microsoft on the deal as well on tax disputes and it is for Nokia to settle the disputes with Indian tax authorities amicably and ensure that the Chennai plant becomes a part of Microsoft. We have no clue on contract manufacturing as has been reported.”
“Given our understanding on the deal, it seems that Nokia has not highlighted the tax disputes with the Indian authorities in detail in its agreement with Microsoft,” he said.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the way Nokia handles the issue, he said: “We are holding discussions with our lawyers in Delhi and we will most probably move the High Court on Saturday. We want to implead ourselves in this case as deadline is approaching fast.”
Finland’s foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja’s comments suggesting December 12 as a deadline to resolve Nokia’s tax disputes in India has come as a blow, he said. The ultimatum that otherwise the Chennai plant will be left out of the deal has come a major blow in resolving the crisis and, hence, unfortunate, he added.
Any Indians (or Indian Constitutional scholars) on board that could lend some context to the below comment lifted from the Economic Times of India article posted above?
"As this involves change in ownership and control of the material resources of the community-the work-force- with all socio-economic implications,Art.39(b) stands attracted and the sate is duty bound under Art.37 to permit the change only in a manner that best subserves the common good.Another way looked at, the contract of acquisition stands at odds with the declared public policy in ARt.39(b)and is void and unenforceable in India.These acts are no linger 'private' acts under the Constitution of India but are 'public' acts done by private persons."