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Paper industry deal reached, strike cancelled

Threatened strikes in the powerful paper sector have been called off after the two sides accepted a compromise contract deal.

Minna Helle
Minna Helle Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

State labour mediator Minna Helle announced an agreement in a long-running contract dispute in the paper sector on Monday afternoon. Helle tweeted that the Trade Union Pro and the Finnish Forest Industries Federation had both accepted the settlement proposal that she issued on Sunday.

The Pro union said that strikes planned for January 17-24 and January 31-February 7 are cancelled. It says that agreement includes a new wage deal as well as a boost to the status of shop stewards and a greater role for local pay agreements. The new contract is to remain in force until November 2019.

The employers’ federation said that the pact includes an average pay hike of 1.55 percent this year and 1.6 percent next year for salaried employees.

The contract covers some 2,400 employees in the paper industry, traditionally one of Finland’s most powerful sectors.

“The deal includes reforms of contract conditions for salaried employees that are essential for companies and improve competitiveness and expand local agreements,” the Forest Industries Federation’s labour market director Nina Pärssinen said in a statement.

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