Collective bargaining under way in the Finnish paper industry

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The collective agreement in the paper industry must be made a key means to support business operations, as has already been done in other industries in Finland. The old collective agreement that evolved over the past decades is no longer suitable for today, when the industry is rebuilding its competitiveness.

"At pulp and paper mills more and more workers consider it important to have versatile tasks and to expand their skills. Strong professional expertise improves workers’ possibilities in the working world and increases young people’s interest in the branch. As soon as we renew the wage system together with the Paper Workers’ Union, broader expertise can be implemented in practice," says Mr Jari Forss, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

"Together with the Paper Workers’ Union we must seek ways to apply new operating models more flexibly. The new collective agreement must include the possibility to introduce networked operating models and use outsourcing as in other industries. In order to preserve jobs it is important for the collective agreement to help us react to the paper industry’s changed needs. We must be able to make the necessary changes before it is too late. The sooner a company can react to changes, the better possibilities it has to deal with the situation," Mr Forss adds.

The new collective agreement is a key means to help Finnish units compete on a more equal footing for investments with other supplier countries. A collective agreement that supports business operations influence productivity and profitability.

A collective agreement that supports business operations can help preserve the maximum possible number of jobs in Finland. The collective agreement, which has traditionally had a strong position in the Finnish paper industry, can also create harmonized practices for shifting to flexible operating models.

Additional information:

Jari Forss, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 4440