Swedish telecommunications company Nokia says it will eliminate 187 jobs in Dublin, all but ending an era when one of Nokia's predecessor companies once employed more than 10,000 workers at a sprawling plant in east Columbus near Mount Carmel Hospital East.
"Nokia will be exiting the Dublin, Ohio, facility by the end of 2018, a decision that is consistent with the company's global and regional efforts to consolidate sites and operate from fewer, more concentrated locations," company officials said in a statement.
"The strategic move is expected to contribute towards cost reductions, efficiency improvements and synergy targets," according to the statement.
Nokia said union and nonunion workers throughout several business groups are affected. A few workers might remain in central Ohio, company officials said.
Nokia bought French company Alcatel-Lucent a year ago.
It was Alcatel-Lucent that announced in 2011 that it was moving its local staff, about 600 employees at the time, to Dublin, abandoning the building on East Broad Street in Columbus.
Total employment by Nokia and its predecessors has been declining for decades.
The central Ohio operations date to 1957 when Western Electric, a division of AT&T, opened the plant on East Broad, making telephone components for AT&T. At one time, there were about 14,000 workers at the site, according to information from the Communications Workers of America Local 4390.
In 1996, AT&T spun off several of its technology businesses and named the new company Lucent Technologies. Alcatel, a French company, bought Lucent in 2006.
The recent layoffs were not a surprise to workers, company officials said.
"Employees were given advance notification about the site consolidation plans, and now the respective business groups are working with their teams on the completed plans," the company statement said.
"It is anticipated that some functions will no longer be required and, in this case, these employees may be separated with eligibility for severance in accordance with the company's severance plan or collective bargaining agreement, if employees are represented.
"For other employees, depending upon the business conditions at that time, they may be able to relocate, work remotely, or work from a customer site, depending on the particular situation."
Of the 187 workers, up to 106 are union workers, according to Local 4390 officials.
Nokia will replace the workers with nonunion, third-party contractors based in Plano, Texas, by June 2019, the union local said in a post by its president, Art Plas, on its site on Tumblr.
The post carried the headline "Nokia Busting American Workers Union Jobs in Ohio."
The union disagreed with the company's contention that it is looking after the departing employees.
"Nokia has not offered retraining opportunities or any transition planning or compensation to displaced workers," the post said.