Updated from 12:07 p.m. ESTNokia (NOK) - Get Report on Tuesday announced it was asking up to 1,000 employees to participate in a voluntary resignation program as part of the company's ongoing cost-cutting efforts.

According to Nokia, a global voluntary resignation package will be available to all employees except direct labor and senior executives beginning March 1 and ending May31 at the latest, until 1,000 have applied.

The company also will more freely allow unpaid leaves and sabbaticals when possible and will encourage employees to take time off for vacation rather than receiving extra pay for vacation time accrued.

"If successful, the voluntary initiatives will lessen the need for involuntary redundancies," said Hallstein Moerk, Nokia's head of human resources, in a statement.

var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 12701017001; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);

The pressure is on Nokia amid constricting consumer spending, a global economic downturn and increasing competition from iPhone maker

Apple

(APPL)

and BlackBerry maker

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

. Rival

Motorola

(MOT)

can certainly sympathize, having recently announced yet another round

job cuts

.

Nokia stock closed up 1.3% to $10.15 Tuesday.