Paperworkers’ Union continues strike at several UPM mills until March and invites competitors to UPM negotiations
The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has informed UPM that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by three weeks until 12 March 2022, unless new agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022. Currently, approximately 200 union members are working in tasks critical to society, such as power plants and water treatment facilities.
The union simultaneously informed UPM that it is ready to negotiate with UPM businesses. UPM received an invitation to negotiations concerning UPM Pulp on Monday 7 February. The invitation indicated that the negotiations would be carried out with the CLA advisory board of the union. The board includes members of other forest products companies which means that discussions could be conducted on a very general level. Due to anti-trust compliance, genuine negotiations on UPM’s business-specific issues could not be conducted.
“It is impossible for us to have representatives of our competitors attend our negotiations. Unfortunately, week after week the Paperworkers’ Union seems to be playing for time at the expense of their members and UPM’s businesses. It is clear, that the Union is not ready for business-specific negotiations. This is also reflected in the fact that invitation has been sent to just one of our businesses, the pulp business. To minimise the significant damage caused by the strike, all five negotiation tables need to be opened,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour markets, UPM.
“Business-specific collective labour agreements are essential to us. We aim to sign agreements in each of our businesses that enable success well into future, take the needs of local personnel into account, and maintain the excellent wage levels of the industry. Postponing the negotiations has already made it more difficult to achieve these goals,” adds Hollmén.
UPM will service its customers from its mills outside of Finland to the extent possible. At this point, UPM does not disclose estimates of the economic impacts of the strikes.