Country’s fourth largest software services provider HCL Technologies may sack 140 staff at its Finland office, a move, employees alleged, is an attempt to replace local workers with cheaper talent from India.

HCL has a delivery centre and office in Espoo and it is currently in negotiations with the employee representatives over the move to cut jobs. The negotiations commenced earlier this month and will last for about 6-8 weeks.

The employees who face job threats are actually former Nokia staffs who were transferred to HCL Technologies in March 2013 as per an agreement signed between the two companies.

When contacted, an HCL Technologies spokesperson said: “Any change to requirements in client projects is essentially a matter of discussion between HCL, its client(s) and unions where needed. We do not respond to speculation on such matters.”

Some HCL’s Finnish employees on conditions of anonymity said that the firm is laying off 140 ex-Nokia employees.

The employer-employee negotiations started around June 15-18 and we fear that these jobs will be passed on to IT employees from India or similar countries at a much lower salary.

The employees also said that they have contacted the unions, who are supporting their cause.

Union of Professional Engineers in Finland (UIL) Director (Collective Bargaining) Ismo Kokko said the number of workers that were outsourced from Nokia to HCL was 200 and now they want to lay off 140.

“The negotiations have just started last week and we have to first analyse the situation and sort out a strategy,” he said when asked about the steps the union will take.

On the layoffs Kokko said: “The basic situation is the same in HCL as it is in TCS. Former Nokia employees are being replaced with outside workers.”

TCS is also planning to sack 172 employees at its Finland offices by August. These employees were outsourced by Nokia to TCS.

The employees also said that around 50 employees who were transferred from the Helsinki-based renewable products maker UPM also stand to lose their jobs.

Last year in March, HCL Technologies had signed a five-year outsourcing agreement for IT infrastructure services with UPM worth about USD 300 million.

As part of this agreement, HCL has to provide data centre, end-user support, network services and professional IT services to UPM. Around 250 UPM employees were also expected to move to HCL.

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