Nokia's factory move from Germany to Romania hits more snags

After a high-level meeting today, Nokia has agreed to serve on a joint task force to review its decision to close a cell phone plant in Bochum, Germany. Meanwhile, Nokia's cheaper facility under construction in Romania is in trouble.

With Finnish-based Nokia reaching somewhat of a surprise agreement today to work with German officials on a joint task force, the high-tech vendor's plans to move cell phone production from Bochum, Germany to the more economical Romania have meanwhile been running into construction snags.

Nokia officials have kept arguing that the facility in Bochum is too costly, although the shutdown plans has spurred resistance from Germans ranging from street demonstrations to demands for the return of the equivalent of hundreds of millions of US dollars in subsidies.

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But after meeting with Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on Monday, officials of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia issued a written statement that they are now setting up a joint task force with Nokia to explore "innovative solutions."

Meanwhile, Nokia is trying to sell another line of business in Bochum, involving personalized cell mobile solutions for cars, to Sasken Technologies, with the help of the private investment fund Equity Partners GmbH and the former manager of Nokia's automative mobile division, Razban Olosu.

Yet the Romanian edition of HotNews suggests that workers in Nokia's automotive division are much better off than Nokia's cell phone manufacturing workers, who will lose their source of income if Nokia's cell phone plant picks up stakes.

Instead, Nokia's automotive unit have been reportedly promised that they can transfer to new positions with their new employer.

At the same time, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Samonat reported today that the construction of Nokia's new factory in Romania is being hampered by a variety of delays.

For one thing, the German construction company Golbeck has felt the need to replace Romanian concrete works with Hungarian, Slovakian, and Polish workers, because the skills of the Romanians "proved insufficient," according to the Finnish publication.

Then, a number of Hungarian workers apparently left the construction site in the Transylvania region of Romania for the weekend, because supposedly, no water could be found there for concrete casting.

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