for almost a week I managed to keep my mouth shut – but after my honest opinion the public “discussion” about Nokia’s decision to shut down its factory in Bochum recently got a bit out of hand. So I finally see myself forced to comment on some of other people’s comments..
..for example Nordrhein-Westfalens minister for economic affairs Christa Thoben (CDU), accusing the finnish mobile phone manufacturer of “subvention tricking” (”Subventions-Tricksereien”) and warned the company of a possible “massive image damage”.
The Prime Minister of Nordrhein-Westfalens Mr. Rüttgers insulted the former beloved investor, den ehemals ach-so-sehr geliebten Investor, employer and tax payer Nokia and called the company a “subvention cicada”!
Just recently some German politicians even publically announced they would change their mobile phones to some ozher manufacturer – some even appealed to the public to do the same and to boycott Nokia:
Rainer Wend, the SPD’s spokesman for economic affairs for example let the newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau” know, he would not use Nokia phones in the future any more.
The “minister for consumers’ affairs” (Bundesverbraucherminister) told the newspaper BILD, that he wanted to declare his solidarity with the workers at Nokia in Bochum and also wanted to change his Nokia phone for a mobile phone made some other manufacturer – and also the head of SPD Peter Struck mentioned he planned to ‘return his Nokia’.
I have to admit: Nokia wasn’t very clever – the bad news they announced fell on fertile grounds and now some ugly reactions are growing.. – ..especially the way they announced the bad news must have felt like a kick in the butt. Firing workers is not popular – especially not in Germany, where people were just about to hope that the unemployment rate would drop a little more. Other companies proved more cleverness in this field: “socially compatible reduction of employment costs” and “job outsourcing” are activities that have almost the same effect, but seem to be way less unpopular as BenQ and also the T-Com proved, planning to “outsource” about 35000 jobs. A possible image damage would then be on some ther company’s account..
For me it’s actually hard to understand why those politicians react so almost aggressively – almost like a little child that finds it unfair when someone takes his toys away. But maybe that comparison is already quite lose to the truth: subventions of millions of Euros were given to Nokia to come to Bochum – and stay in Bochum – and now they suddenly they don’t want to ‘play’ anymore..?! ..not nice..
German politicians should learn from this affair – and be just a little bit more honest in the future and actually tell people, that the combination of a “free economy” and a “free Europe” not only has chances to offer – but also risks. Additionally the way subventions are handled should probably be questioned. Maybe then there would be less of such ‘misunderstandings’ in the future..
And then I also have to say:
..Yes! – I love my Nokia! ..and yes! – I am glad it’s a nice piece of “High Tech” “made in Europe”..:]
PS: all quotes and speculations are inspired by articles I read on www.netzeitung.de. See also the german article “Erste Kündigungen nach angekündigtem Nokia-Aus” at heise.de – and almost 300 follow up comments on the discussion pages of the article “Erste Kündigungen..”