Microsoft is taking an unconventional approach in laying off its employees from the Nokia unit in Beijing.
Citing information from an internal email, the First Financial Daily reported that Microsoft is giving free handsets to employees at its Nokia factory and R&D centre in Beijing if they sign up for the volunteer resignation package. Up to 300 employees per day will receive a free Nokia Lumia 630 on a "first come, first serve" basis.
Apparently, Microsoft planned to lay off 4,700 employees from the Nokia unit in Beijing as part of its global restructuring program. This triggered protests by almost a hundred employees last week. The protesters claimed that Microsoft broke its promise of not cutting jobs in the first twelve months after acquiring Nokia's Devices and Service unit, and did not provide advance notice about their compensation plans.
The Lumia 630 was announced earlier in April and is priced below US$170 (estimated to be S$213 based on currency exchange rates at press time). Even if Microsoft is offering the most expensive and high-end models as part of the compensation package, it is unlikely to placate the employees who are going to lose their jobs.