“The latest announcements of production shut-downs mean that well over half of all paper production capacity in Finland has had to be put on hold. The situation is becoming increasingly difficult day after day, and the entire forest industry will soon be paralysed. There are now more forest industry employees out of work because of this industrial action than there are striking stevedores,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
“The Finnish Transport Workers Union AKT should, in the name of social responsibility, be actively on the lookout for ways with which to bring to an end the strike that it instigated. The irresponsible conduct of the AKT is eating away at jobs in the Finnish forest industry and it endangers the wellbeing both of the national economy and of the regional economies. The strike’s multiplier effects extend to the entire value chain of forest industry and our networked economy. It will take a long time to clean up the mess this strike is causing.”
In addition to lost output, the strike is causing a constant flow of extra costs to factories. They have to take care of, inter alia, machinery, equipment, heat production and security just as they would had production not been halted. Companies have also had to find temporary storage facilities for their undelivered production. Some products can no longer be delivered to customers, meaning that both the raw material and labour inputs that went into their manufacture will be lost.
The strike is causing Finland to lose orders to the forest industry’s other operating countries. It is quite considerably eroding the reputation Finnish units had of being reliable suppliers.
The lost export revenue is weakening incipient growth and slowing Finland’s recovery from the economic downturn. There are 50 pulp, paper and paperboard mills, about 170 industrial-scale sawmills and 15 wood-based panel factories in Finland. Throughout the entire cluster, wood processing employs about 200,000 Finns and its economic footprint is felt by around 500,000 people in our country.
Forest industry production facilities are often the biggest employers of their localities. If the industry’s income streams dry up, the finances of many municipalities will suffer.
Timo Jaatinen, Director General, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6600
Jari Forss, Executive Vice President, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 4440