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Unfair dismissal at Nokia in Finland

19 December, 2019Nokia in Finland has terminated the employment of a shop steward following a protected strike. Nokia claims that he damaged the company by disconnecting devices prior to the strike action.

“This is an extremely brutal attack on the trade union. Our point of view is that Nokia is taking revenge for the three-day strike early in the week,”

said Samu Salo, chair of IndustriALL affiliate Insinööriliitto, the Union of Professional Engineers of Finland.

The local shop steward and engineer at Nokia Espoo in Finland had been working at the company for over 25 years. He went on a legal three-day strike for senior staff members organized by YTN, a negotiating body to which local union Insinööriliitto is affiliated. 

The company claims that the firing is related to the engineer disconnecting equipment by switching off the power before going on strike. He believed that he was doing the right thing because the equipment was not needed during the strike and he would not have been able to monitor it. However, the switches were also linked to devices that were used remotely abroad, a link that he was not aware of.

The engineer had been involved in building the network for four years and had maintained the services behind the switches. The devices that were connected remotely abroad were under the responsibility of other employees and were connected to his switches without his knowledge.

“We have challenged the action taken by Nokia. We have given a written statement to condemn the termination and are preparing to take the case to justice. We will report this to the police for investigation. We are locally discussing all other options, including industrial action,”

said a union representative at Insinööriliitto.

 “This is unacceptable behaviour from Nokia and IndustriALL fully supports Insinööriliitto, in their action to bring justice in this unfair dismissal,”

said Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL electronics director.