Unacceptable to single one company out for industrial action

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Pro has announced a two-week strike, which will apply to salaried paper industry employees at UPM’s paper mills and commence on Wednesday 6 April.  

“We cannot accept industrial action that targets a single company when the aim is to promote goals, which will apply to the entire industry,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“It is also extremely unfortunate that such action is allowed to cause substantial economic damages and erode the Finnish forest industry’s reputation for being a dependable supplier in a situation where the markets last year begun to recover,” Jaatinen points out.

“Pro is jeopardising its members’ jobs in Finland. It is quite clear that international companies will in future concentrate their support functions to locations that provide a stable operating environment. Striking will not improve Finland’s standing – instead, we must work together to strengthen the industry’s operating prerequisites in Finland,” says Jari Forss, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

Forest industry still ready to agree a solution that matches those of other sectors 

“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. The mind boggles at industrial action in this situation, bearing in mind that, during negotiations, the parties only disagreed on the distribution of a company-specific allowance amounting to 1%,” Jari Forss points out.

Pro only made its out-of-the-blue proposal, a revision of the pay system, during the conciliation process.

“Pro’s proposal to scrap the company-specific pay system would result in a backwards leap, eradicating decades of progress. The new system was only brought to the negotiation table at the National Conciliator’s office. The existing pay system is based on local negotiations, which are conducted on the company level with Pro’s shop stewards,” Forss says.

Pro declared an overtime ban concerning salaried paper industry employees that commenced on Friday 1 April 2011.

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

Keep up to date with collective bargaining developments through our website http://www.forestindustries.fi/