Wage cuts and strikes at Stora Enso Barcelona
A new Spanish law allows companies to cut their employees' wages by 15% to remain competitive during the economic crisis. Stora Enso's workers do not want to accept the drastic measure and went on a series of strikes.
Employees of the Stora Enso mill in Barcelona have gone on strike. The company implemented wage cuts of 15% for most of its workforce effective as of 1 January 2013, to which the employees have responded by laying down work on one day per week for 24 hours starting 4 January. The next day of strike is scheduled for 30 January, according to an announcement made by the local trade union UGT.
A spokesman of Stora Enso confirmed the trade union’s announcement and explained that a new Spanish law permits wage cuts of this magnitude in order to remain competitive amidst the economic crisis and retain as many jobs as possible.
Stora Enso says the cost cuts are necessary to remain profitable and the cuts will bring wage levels in Spain on par with other EU countries.
The trade union in turn argues that jobs were already cut in 2012. UGT adds that it has been trying since last November to find an alternative solution to wage cuts but Stora Enso showed no willingness to review its decision.
Mill employees have gone on strike for a total of five days so far. Stora Enso says that production loss is significant and amounts to 10-15% of the mill’s capacity.
The Barcelona mill employs 250 persons and has a capacity of 170,000 tpy of GD and GT board.
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