Paper industry speeds up collective agreement negotiations

Press releases |

The Finnish Forest Industries Federation wants to ensure that a collective labour agreement which would support the Finnish paper industry’s competitiveness will be achieved as quickly as possible. Therefore the Finnish Forest Industries Federation has declared a lockout starting on Wednesday 18 May at 6 am and ending on Wednesday 1 June at 6 am, unless the parties have not concluded a collective labour agreement before that. The lockout would include about 24 000 members of the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union excluding salaried employees.

Lockout is a legal measure to secure labour market peace if its announced 14. days earlier.

"We are serious about wanting to save the competitiveness and jobs of the Finnish paper industry as well as secure the future investments in the Finnish mills. We are ready to offer work to capable employees also in the future. The quicker the terms of employment can be agreed the more both employers and employees will benefit. Our target is common", says Mr. Arto Tähtinen, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy.

With the lockout the FFIF wants to speed up the negotiations. The target is to conclude the agreement as soon as possible. The National Conciliator has assumed responsibility for chairing the negotiations on Monday 2 May.

"We believe that the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union and its members will support a quick solution by maintaining labour market peace in the mills. It is very important that both parties make their utmost to safeguard the competitiveness of the Finnish paper industry", says Tähtinen.

During an overtime ban which started on 30 March the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has organised more than 120 shutdowns of paper machines, of which 45 have been illegal strikes. In addition to that, the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has arranged a nationwide illegal strike which lasted 4 days and ended 2 May.

Continuous shutdowns waste a great deal of energy and raw materials. Between the shutdowns it has not been possible to produce first class quality which causes several extra costs and endangers the good reputation of the suppliers among the customers. Continuous shutdowns make it difficult also for the transport entrepreneurs to earn their living. Work and wages would stop, too, when the machines cannot be restarted because of the shutdowns. The shutdowns and startups of the machines are demanding operations which can increase environmental risks.

Additional info:

Arto Tähtinen, Senior Vice President, Labour Market Policy,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 4442, name.surname@forestindustries.fi