The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union is slowing down collective agreement negotiations by its unclear objectives. Negotiations continued today but the National Conciliator did not give any proposal for a settlement. Negotiations already began in January, and from the beginning of May they have been headed by the National Conciliator. Achieving an agreement as quickly as possible would benefit both sides. However, concluding a collective labour agreement also needs strong input from the paper workers.
"The chairman of the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has publicly expressed that the Union has not yet officially set up the objectives for the negotiations. Their messages have therefore also been very contradictory. This makes the negotiations difficult and may needlessly force the paper industry to extend the lockout," says Mr. Timo Poranen, President of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
The continuous shutdowns and illegal strikes caused by the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union give the employers no other option than to halt production. There have been hundreds of disruptions in pulp and paper production since the end of March. Continuous and unplanned shutdowns increase the risks of environmental damage and machine breakdowns.
If the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, representing the pulp and paper industry, is forced to continue the lockout from Wednesday 15th June, the announcement should, under Finnish law, be given two weeks earlier, no later than Tuesday 31st May.
"It is of the utmost importance that the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union also does its best to ensure the competitiveness of the paper industry in Finland. This is the only way to be able to continue to provide jobs within the industry.," Poranen points out.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation wants to remove, for example, the clauses from the paper industry collective agreement that provide for obligatory Christmas and Midsummer shutdowns as well as restrictions on the use of subcontractors. These restrictions do not apply to mills outside Finland nor to any other sector of industry in Finland.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Timo Poranen, President, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6600
Mr. Arto Tähtinen, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 4441, firstname.lastname@example.org