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UPM plant workers to go on strike 1 January

An agreement between the paper workers' unions and UPM can not be reached prior to the walk-out date.

Archival photo of UPM Kymi factory Image: Antro Valo / Yle

UPM plant workers will walk out on strike on January 1, 2022, the Paper Association, the Trade Union Pro and the Finnish Electrical Workers Union announced today.

The unions and UPM management had been trying to come to an agreement regarding a proposed collective agreement under the leadership of the national conciliator.

According to a press release from the Office of the National Conciliator, the parties' positions on the matter are too far apart and no solutions can be reached prior to the beginning of January and the walk-out.

The strike will last three weeks.

The current collective agreement covering Pro workers runs out on 31 December, and union representatives say UPM has declined all invitations to negotiate a new deal.

UPM wants the flexibility to vary conditions of work for staff doing the same job in different units within the company, but the unions are resisting that change.

Traditionally Finnish labour talks have been sector-wide, with a collective agreement guaranteeing industrial peace between unions and companies. This time, employers' organisations have declined to negotiate a sector-wide deal, preferring to negotiate company-by-company.