Salaried paper industry employees resort to excessive industrial action

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“Pro is demanding a 3.5% pay hike, even though paper industry employees have agreed to a 1.5% general pay increase and a 1% company-specific allowance. Their industrial actions are utterly excessive, bearing in mind that, during negotiations, the parties only disagreed on the distribution of a company-specific allowance,” says Jari Forss, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“The new pay system, which Pro only brought up during the conciliation process, is based on complex and outdated collective labour agreement practices. Pro made no proposals regarding the revision of the pay system during the course of negotiations and only brought the matter up at the National Conciliator’s office. Salaried employees have already adopted a pay system that is based on local agreement and has proven its functionality in practice,” Jari Forss adds.

Trade union Pro has issued warning of a work stoppage, which will apply to salaried paper industry employees at UPM’s paper mills on 6-20 April 2011. Pro also declared an overtime ban concerning salaried paper industry employees that commenced last Friday 1 April 2011.

Strike a threat to Finnish jobs

The forest industry’s markets are currently recovering after a number of leaner years, and Pro’s striking erodes the export-dependant industry’s reputation for being a reliable supplier.

“Can Pro afford to jeopardise its members’ jobs in Finland? International companies are concentrating their support functions to locations that provide a stable operating environment. These actions jeopardise many salaried paper industry jobs in Finland,” Forss points out.

More than 3,000 people are covered by the collective labour agreement for salaried paper industry employees.

Further information:
Jari Forss, Deputy Director General, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 4440, +358 40 570 7652

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