On International Workers' Day, trade union Thozhilalar Sangam at Nokia India released a film called Dis-Connecting People. The film documents the voices of workers that have been muted in the battle between the state and the company.
In 2005, Finnish Company Nokia set up its largest mobile phone assembling plant in Sriperumbadur Taluk, Tamil Nadu. Attracted by the tax concessions offered under the Special Economic Zone Act 2005, resource subsidies and an army of cheap labour, Nokia made profits by assembling the phones in India and sell them globally. In just five years the plant produced 500 million phones, and hired more than 12,000 workers, majority young women.
After eight years of profits, the company now faces charges of tax evasion by the Indian Government. The threat of imminent closure of the factory and loss of employment looms large for thousands of workers.
The film documents the voices of workers that have remained largely muted in the tax battle between the company and the state. The workers share there experiences of working for Nokia; the happy times of being 'connected'; of building dreams of becoming middle class; their fears, anxiety and anger of suddenly being 'dis-connected' by the company that they helped become profitable with their hard work; and their resolve to fight for their employment.