Jorma Malinen, the chairperson of Trade Union Pro, spoke to the media in the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with Finnish Forest Industries. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

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TRADE UNION PRO and Finnish Forest Industries have put aside their differences over the terms of employment of white-collar workers in the chemical forest industry by accepting a settlement proposal tabled by the Office of the National Conciliator.

The new collective bargaining agreement will raise the wages in accordance with the general scope for raises and abolish the 24-hour increase in annual working time.

The 2,500 employees covered by the agreement will receive a general increase of 0.7 per cent and a company-specific one of 0.6 per cent on 1 April 2020, as well as a general increase of 1.2 per cent and a company-specific one of 0.8 per cent on 1 March 2021. The company-specific increase will be applied to all employees unless a separate agreement is reached by the employer and chief shop steward.

The agreement puts an end to the strike of white-collar workers that had stretched into its third week, along with other industrial actions, at pulp and paper mills across Finland.

Jorma Malinen, the chairperson of Trade Union Pro, said the process was the most difficult so far in the current round of bargaining negotiations.

“We are pleased to have been able to resolve the long-running labour dispute. We hope the Forest Industries will focus on improving the industry’s competitiveness with measures that genuinely impact productivity growth going forward,” he said.

The agreement is a satisfactory compromise, characterised Jyrki Hollmén, the director of labour market affairs at Finnish Forest Industries.

He revealed the employer organisation accepted the settlement proposal because it aligns largely with the agreement reached with the Finnish Paper Workers’ Union, such as by shortening the production stoppage caused by Midsummer.

The agreement also enables employers to organise working time more flexibly, which for long has been a primary objective for Finnish Forest Industry.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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