The announcement of lay-off talks came as a total surprise to workers at the firm. Many personnel feel that the company is running the risk of ’saving itself sick’, cutting too much capacity to be able to ramp up production when the company’s fortunes improve.
’We have a meeting once a month, where we always go through the order book,’ said Juha Kaasinen, head shop steward at the company’s Järvenpää plant. ’This news came out of the blue.’
Kaasinen said that the factory had work until the end of the year, and that he feared the company would soon share Nokia’s fate. He suggested that rather than lay-offs, the company could consider temporarily shedding staff.
’The furlough concept would be very appropriate,’ continued Kaasinen. ’It is free to the employer and fair to employees, because they can claim their unemployment insurance benefit.’
Metso announced shareholder dividends totalling 75 million euros last week, including an extra dividend of 0.50 euro per share.
’Extra dividends could be used to develop the company’s products, make new sales and safeguard employment,’ observed Kaasinen.