Labour court: Paper workers’ annual leave was not used up during dispute

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On Thursday, 20 October 2005, Finland’s Labour Court issued a ruling according to which paper workers can take, without pay, their annual leave that was scheduled for the period during the labour dispute last summer at a time to be agreed later on.

For practical reasons, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation had instructed its members that paper workers should receive their annual leave and holiday pay according to plan.

"Shifting annual leave, due to the shutdowns, to the period after the shutdowns with only a couple of weeks’ notice would have caused workers unreasonable inconvenience. According to our instructions, workers could take their annual leave as they had planned. Holiday pay and holiday bonuses were also paid in full according to the collective agreement," says Arto Tähtinen, Head of Labour Market Policy at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

"The Finnish Forest Industries Federation will study the Labour Court’s ruling carefully and will investigate what the ruling requires from our member," Tähtinen adds.

The action filed by the Paperworkers’ Union concerned about 140 workers who work continually in three shifts. In spite of the union’s stand, employers and workers at most mills had agreed in the spring to follow the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s recommendation. About 24,000 workers are employed in the paper industry.

Workers’ schedules for the next year are published at the end of each year. These show shift rotations, days off and leave.

The court’s ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

Additional information:

Arto Tähtinen, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation
Tel. +358 9 132 4442,