1 mins to read

NZ staff uncertain as Nokia Siemens slashes quarter of workforce

New Zealand could get caught in a sweeping worldwide cull of 23% of the company's staff.

NBR staff
Fri, 25 Nov 2011

Some New Zealand staff could get caught in a worldwide cull of 23% of Nokia Siemens Network staff.

The company – a joint venture between Finland’s Nokia and Germany’s Siemens – makes telecommunications infrastructure. Locally, its main client is Vodafone NZ.

The 23% cut equates to around 17,000 people worldwide from a total workforce of 74,000.

Nokia Siemens spokesman Ben Roome told NBR the global percentage would not directly correlate to staff numbers in each region.

Across Australasia, Nokia Siemens had approximately 500 staff, Mr Roome said. Around 30 were based in New Zealand.

The company was still in the process of accessing how the cut-backs would affect its local operation.

“We’re at the stage of talking to employee reps in accordance with country-specific legal requirements,” Mr Roome said.

For its September quarter, the company reported an operating profit of $US8.1 million, after a loss of $US156 million a year earlier, on sales that rose 16% to about $US4.6 billion. The result followed two years of quarterly losses.

The restructure follows Nokia Siemens’s $US1.2 billion purchase of Motorola’s mobile network equipment business in July last year, which added staff, and a new focus on mobile broadband equipment, which the company says is now the fastest growing area of the telecommunications infrastructure market.

Nokia Siemens has already been having something of an annus horribilis across the Tasman.

Following mass customer complaints about dropped calls and other issues, Vodafone Australia (5% owned by Telecom NZ) withheld an $8 million performance bond. Nokia Siemens has taken Vodafone to court, claiming its client did not have the right to withdraw the bond.

NBR staff
Fri, 25 Nov 2011
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
NZ staff uncertain as Nokia Siemens slashes quarter of workforce