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Friday’s papers: Pressure on Nokia boss, strike averted and a prison death

Papers scrutinise Nokia's chief executive, the fate of the 'competitiveness pact' and the prison death of a woman suspected of killing her child.

Toimitusjohtaja Rajeev Suri esittelee Nokian uusia tuotteita Barcelonassa helmikuussa 2019.
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri. Image: AOP / Rex Features
Yle News

It’s results season in the business world, and over the years in Finland that has meant a big focus on Nokia’s performance.

Times have changed since the company’s heyday in the early 2000s, but the firm is still important to Finns and Finland and so Kauppalehti does get into the nitty-gritty of the firm’s performance.

On Thursday shares in the firm rose 2.3 percent on news that the final quarter went according to expectations, with the mobile infrastructure provider posting turnover for 2019 of nearly seven billion euros and even posting a small profit.

That’s cold comfort to Nokia shareholders however, as the firm is still not planning to post a dividend and the stock has lost nearly half its value in the last twelve months.

The results came along with the news that the Reefshark chipsets, which aim to dramatically improve the efficiency of 5G networks, are ready for the market.

That wasn’t enough for one portfolio manager, however. Juha Varis of FIM told KL that he thought Reefshark was already priced in to the company’s stock and that he felt like Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri was under-performing.

"He’s had a lot of time, but would someone else be better in this job and bring new perspectives?"

Strike averted, time up for Kiky?

There was big news in the labour market on Thursday, when unions and employers in the chemical industry agreed a deal to avert a planned strike next week.

Helsingin Sanomat covered the confirmation of the deal and noted that it could have implications for other sectors in this difficult round of collective wage bargaining.

The strike would have shut down Neste’s petrol refineries, causing huge disruption in Finland.

It had already been postponed once because of that, so the deal came at the last minute.

It is along the lines of the previous deal struck by the Industrial Union in other industrial sectors, with pay rises of 3.3 percent over two years and the elimination of so-called kiky or ‘competitiveness pact’ hours: the 24 extra, unpaid hours imposed in 2016 as part of a drive by the Juha Sipilä government to reduce the cost of labour.

The deal means that in this round of collective bargaining, some 200,000 people’s terms have already been agreed and none of them include the ‘kiky’ hours.

Do you know your 'TES' from your 'Kiky'? If not, try this special edition of our All Points North podcast where we delve into the world of Finnish labour relations. You can listen to the podcast via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, iTunes or your normal pod player using the RSS feed.

Female suspect dies in prison

Helsingin Sanomat reports that a woman suspected of taking the life of her young child in Espoo last month, died while on remand in a Vantaa prison.

According to police, the 35-year-old died suddenly on Thursday while a preliminary investigation into the circumstances of the child’s death was underway. Police said that they did not suspect any foul play in the woman’s death.

"Due to strict confidentiality reasons, we cannot reveal further details about the coroner’s inquest. At the moment we can say in general that police are looking into the circumstances leading up to the death," Detective Chief Inspector Petri Eronen of the Itä-Uusimaa police department said.

The Itä-Uusimaa police department is leading the investigation because the Vantaa prison where the suspect’s death occurred is in its precinct.

Jaakko Jokinen, deputy warden of the Vantaa prison, declined to speak about the specific case, but offered general comments about deaths in prison environments.

"If we wanted to prevent someone dying from suicide, then we would need to have a member of staff with them 24/7. Of course this is not possible," he said.

Jokinen said that prison staff have a certain ability to monitor inmates’ lives, but it is not possible to maintain unlimited camera surveillance, for example.

"In general suicides that take place in prison come as a complete surprise and without warning. Only in very few cases do we get any advance indication that someone wants to harm themselves," Jokinen added.

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