updated 06:51 pm EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Former employees get a $162 phone if they leave, but limited to 300 offers a day
It seems that Microsoft is trying to sweeten the pot to get workers to leave the Nokia factory and research and design center in Beijing. The software company is offering any of the former employees at the Nokia locations a free phone if they voluntarily split from the company. The offer is part of Microsoft's plans to eliminate about 4,700 jobs in the Beijing locations.
MarketWatch reported on the news coming from the First Financial Daily, which indicates that a Nokia Lumia 630 is being offered to employees if they take part in a voluntary resignation package. The phone is being offered on a "first come, first serve" basis for 300 employees per day. Nokia lists the Lumia 630 as 999 Chinese Yuan, or about $162, on its website. The phone was made in the same factory that the workers would be resigning from. First Financial Daily reporters learned of the severance perk from an internal email.
The offer could been seen as a little short-sighted for Microsoft, but the details of the entire voluntary resignation package are still mostly unknown. It appears that the package is similar to the one Nokia offered in 2013, with only a few months of paid time being handed out. Around 5,000 people are employed between the two locations.
News of the layoffs has not gone over well in China. After workers learned that the company would be eliminating 18,000 jobs from the company, with as many as 12,500 coming from Nokia, some workers took to protests. Around 500 employees protested the layoffs for nearly five hours.