Strike ends at UPM mills in Finland

April 24th, 2022 – 

Strike ends at UPM mills in Finland

UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union have agreed on the first business-specific collective labor agreements for five UPM businesses. The strike at UPM mills in Finland will end immediately and employees will return to work.

The strike covered UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels units in Finland. UPM will restart customer deliveries as soon as possible.

The conciliator submitted settlement proposals for separate collective labor agreements for all five businesses, which both parties approved.

‘We are very pleased that the parties have approved all settlement proposals and that the Paperworkers’ Union’s long strike ends. UPM and the union have made history together by agreeing on five business-specific collective labor agreements, which replace the paper industry´s old agreement stemming from the 1940s,’ said Riitta Savonlahti, executive vice president of human resources at UPM. ‘UPM’s long-standing goal has been to take collective bargaining to a level where the conditions of the work are best known, i.e., the individual businesses. The negotiations lead to agreements that benefit both the businesses and the employees and strengthen the premises for success well into the future.’

‘In the negotiations, many aspects of the contracts were viewed from a totally new standpoint. The process was long but, in the end, we were able to agree on terms of employment that take the needs and special features of our businesses into account. New terms enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the businesses and mills as well as ensure good terms for employees, too,’ added Jyrki Hollmén, vice president of labor markets at UPM.

The contract period of the new agreements is four years. Pay increases are in line with the current industry norm. Revisions to wages will be negotiated after the first two years. New agreements are structurally less complicated than the old one, and the number of pages is about half of the earlier.

A significant change in all business-specific agreements is the substitution of periodical pay with hourly pay. Hourly wages are paid by the work done, making the formulation of the pay easier to understand. New collective labor agreements make it possible to take competence and performance into account in wage formulation. All businesses also agreed on added flexibility to shift arrangements and the use of working time.

Original Article by Labels & Labeling. Read the full article, here.

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