When Finnish telecoms giant NOKIA bought Alcatel-Lucent in 2016, workers in the United States hoped for the fair, respectful labour relations model often found in Nordic companies. Instead, hundreds of U.S. workers—members of the CWA—are finding a company trying to eliminate their jobs and erode the standards built up over decades.
NOKIA wants to outsource the work of hundreds of U.S. telecommunications installers. These workers have played an essential role in building and maintaining the communications systems in the United States. Many of them have spent years honing their craft, training, and re-skilling so they are able do the work that technology changes demand.
In recent collective bargaining negotiations, NOKIA presented its latest scheme to wipe out the unionized workforce and move to a third-party service provider model. Losing this work would be devastating for the current installers but also for retirees who depend on the union for negotiating benefits as well. NOKIA is trying to strip away workers’ ability to retire with dignity.
The combined experience of these installation workers makes them uniquely qualified to meet customer needs, and driving to a low-cost model that cuts corners at the expense of a trained, experienced workforce jeopardizes the high-quality, secure networks that the customers demand.
UNI and CWA do not support the plan to eliminate these union jobs in favor of a low-cost, lower quality model.
“We call on NOKIA to bargain with the CWA in good faith,” said Teresa Casertano, Head of UNI ICTS, “The company should not eliminate the jobs and benefits that the workers have earned through their years of service.”