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Angry Nokia staff protest Microsoft deal in China

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Hundreds of Nokia workers in China have protested the firm’s recent decision to sell its devices unit to Microsoft, complaining that they were forced to sign new contracts on worse terms.

The disgruntled employees stood outside a Nokia plant in the southern city of Dongguan, holding signs with slogans that read "Legally protect our rights" and "Demand fair compensation", according to Reuters.

“We will definitely continue to fight until we get what's fair," one worker surnamed Zhang told the newswire.

The workers are apparently claiming that the deal signed with Microsoft has affected their compensation. There are around 5,000 employees at the Dongguan plant.

However, an unnamed industry source claims that Nokia is being forced into a corner by the demands of some staff.

"A small group of employees is taking this as an opportunity to demand severance packages despite the fact that their jobs will continue," the source told the newswire.

A Nokia statement sent to Reuters had the following:

Our manufacturing operations in Dongguan continue. To accommodate the temporary situation, we have also adjusted our operations in other manufacturing facilities.

Such protests are not uncommon at the Chinese factories of multinational technology firms.

Last year in Beijing and Nanjing, hundreds of Motorola employees protested job cuts brought about after the firm’s acquisition by Google.

Foxconn has also seen its share of strikes, including an alleged mass walk out at its Zhengzhou plant a year ago during production of the iPhone 5.

Ironically analysts believe China is a key market for Microsoft as it tries to strike out in the handset business with its newly acquired Nokia assets.

The People’s Republic is the number one market for Lumia shipments to date, IDC told The Reg. ®

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