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Wednesday's papers: Strike details, bioproduct investment, trampoline accidents

A mixed bag of print news this Wednesday in the dailies, with articles on the specifics of Tuesday's retail manager strike, a 20-million-euro tech investment and a potentially hazardous YouTube video fad.

Puujuna.
Pulp science fiction: clothing fibres made from surplus wood could revolutionise recycling and even replace cotton. Image: Petri Lassheikki / Yle

Finland's print media write about a varied mixture of current events this Wednesday, with top daily Helsingin Sanomat featuring a follow-up piece on Tuesday's industrial action.

The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN) – a member of the white-collar union confederation Akava – staged a walkout from 12 midnight to 12 noon on Tuesday that affected a number of the country's biggest retail chains. The next one is scheduled for Friday, but before that opinions differ on the turnout of the strike.

The Finnish Commerce Federation reports that only some 120 people took part in the action, representing just 3 percent of the higher-tier workers in question.

"That's just not true. How on earth did they get that number?," strike organiser Ville-Veikko Rantamaula wonders in HS.

The YTN release only said that the strike had succeeded and that a "broad front" of higher officials took part. Rantamaula's figure is more dramatic at some 2,000 employees.

In the HS piece, the Commerce Federation assesses the effects of the walkout to be minimal. YTN aims to pressure the federation to forge a collective bargaining agreement for retail managers and senior staff members.

Textile fibres of the future

Business paper Kauppalehti runs an upbeat story on a science enterprise that could change the way textiles are manufactured – and bring in 5 billion euros in revenue.

Professor Herbert Sixta from Aalto University's Bioproduct Centre is the mind behind Ioncell-F, a completely new kind of textile fibre that is stronger than cotton and can be produced from wood pulp, which has been hailed as a material of the future.

The challenge now is to harvest the chemicals needed for the crucial fibre-creating solution, and to fix it in a closed cycle. The scientists involved are excited and optimistic.

"We are convinced that by 2019 we will be able to prove that a completely ecological recycling process is possible," Sixta says in KL.

The two-year pilot phase will cost 10 million euros in corporate and private funding, with investments in a fully-fledged factory paying off by around 2023. Added to that is Sixta's estimate of the cost of that first production plant, namely 250 million euros.

But the results may be staggeringly worth it, the KL article insinuates: four million tonnes of surplus wood collected from Finland's forests could add up to business gains of some 4.8 billion euros.

Companies such as Metsä Fibre and Stora Enso and clothing brands such as Marimekko and Nanso have already expressed interest in the potentially revolutionary innovation.

What goes up must come down

Finally tabloid Ilta-Sanomat looks at a worrying trend that could be endangering children's welfare.

About 400 accidents a year are recorded relating to a favourite summer pastime, namely trampoline jumping, and YouTube videos might be aggravating the situation. Shooting clips of awesome flips and posting them online may sound like fun, but it could also be risking the lives of the youngsters doing it.

"Kids are always getting hurt, that's the way it is," says paediatric surgeon Willy Serlon in IS. "But these injuries have gotten worse over the past few years, some mere inches away from causing paralysis."

The article lists 16 ways to jump around and get down without damage to life and limb; among them are suggestions not to use trampolines that are wet or damaged, to follow all the safety and assembly rules and to avoid overly-ambitious mid-air tricks.

Serlon says that doctors call broken bones caused by failed video shoots "social media trauma" – a not unfitting description, by all accounts.

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