The proposal for a settlement in the labour market dispute – given by the National Conciliator and rejected today by the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union – would have given the paper workers slightly better increases in salaries and wages during the next two years than in the general incomes policy settlement. The proposal would have shortened the annual working time. In addition, the subcontracting practices would have remained nearly unchanged, which was important to the paper workers.
"The industry has now used all possibilities to meet the Paperworers’ Union’s demands. The employers have accepted both proposals for a settlement made by the National Conciliator despite the facts that obstacles to improve productivity would not have been removed as we had hoped, and the agreements would have increased our costs. The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union’s demands reflect short-sighted reaching for benefits and show their total disregard for operating environment and keeping the jobs in Finland," says Mr. Timo Poranen, President of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
The National Conciliator proposal of general increase together with the increases to be agreed locally would have, in practice, given the paper workers almost 2,000 euros more salary during the next two years. The proposal included also a possibility to receive additional 1,600 euros to compensate working hours at Christmas and Midsummer. The proposal would have shortened the annual working time by 8 hours in three shift work and 4 hours in day work. In addition, the annual working time would have been shortened by 11 hours to compensate full year running of the machines. The Finnish paper workers’ annual working time is already the shortest in Europe, and is in practice 32 hours per week on average.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation will extend the lockout by a week from Thursday 7th July to Friday 15th July because the parties have not reached an agreement to improve the competitiveness in the sector. According to the law, the opposing side and the National Conciliator must be informed of a lockout two weeks in advance.
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 4442