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Finnish Paperworkers’ Union extends strike in UPM mills

The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a new strike announcement to UPM, declaring that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by two weeks until 5 February 2022, unless new agreements are reached before then.

Finnish Paperworkers’ Union extends strike in UPM mills
Photograph: JJ Ying on Unsplash.

The Paperworkers’ Union strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022.

Jyrki Hollménn, Vice President of Labour Markets at UPM, said: “If the members of the Paperworkers’ Union want to continue the strike, they naturally have every right to do so. UPM’s goal continues to be to start business specific negotiations with the union as soon as possible. Negotiations are the only way forward. It is important that the negotiations for new agreements begin with a forward-looking mindset and determination to find the best solution for each business and its personnel.”

Just before the strike started, UPM received from the Paperworkers’ Union an email proposal for a new collective labour agreement, without any prior negotiation contact. The proposal was practically the same old collective agreement, which expired at the end of 2021. UPM, however, wishes to negotiate on the new terms of labour.

The union said it had extended the strike because UPM had rejected its proposal and not issued an alternative, despite the union requesting one.

Tasks critical to society, such as water treatment, have not been excluded from the strike.

“The exceptional procedure indicates that the Paperworkers’ Union uses the tasks critical to society as a Trojan horse, trying to bind UPM to the expired agreement by every means possible” said Hollménn.

UPM announced an additional fixed-term compensation to those who come to work at mills and do extra work because of the strike, but it is not known how many have taken up this offer.

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