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UPM-Kymmene Salaried Employees to Go on Strike in Finland

April 5, 2011
HELSINKI, FINLAND—April 5, 2011—On April 6, the salaried employees intend to begin a two-week strike that would affect the majority of UPM’s operations in Finland. The strike does not include UPM’s mechanical forest industry (that is, plywood, timber and UPM ProFi businesses), forestry specialists, senior salaried employees or salaried employees of other forestry companies in Finland.

UPM has around 1,300 salaried employees working within, among other areas, the supply chain, finance and HR department in Finland.

“At this stage, it is impossible to estimate the exact impacts of the strike, but even a conservative estimate of the damage would be in the millions of euros. When the strike begins, we most probably must start to running down paper mills already within a couple of days,” said Jyrki Ovaska, president of UPM’s Paper Business Group.

“The continuous disturbances on the labor market damage Finland’s reputation and the repeated strikes will shift orders permanently to other locations from the Finnish production units,” continued Ovaska. “Industrial actions targeted towards only one company represent negotiation tactics which have unreasonable consequences to customers, the company and also to all of the company’s employees.

“In recent years, UPM has centralized its global administration services in a service centre in Tampere, Finland. If there is repeated uncertainty in our operations in Finland, we must evaluate whether we our operations in Finland are in right proportions or whether we have to start to steer our operations to countries, where the risk of strike is lower,” added Ovaska.

Conciliation lead by the conciliator general was ended unsettled yesterday. For the time being, the conciliator general has not invited the parties to further conciliation. The Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF) and trade union Pro have negotiated on salaries and labour contract during the beginning of the year.

In the negotiations led by the conciliator general, Pro has required a 3.5 percent rise in salary and transfer into an old-fashioned compensation system, which does not match the needs of today’s labour market. The FFIF considers the salary request oversized in comparison to the other wage settlements completed this spring.

Source: company release.
 

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