The strike at UPM’s Finnish mills has come to an end. UPM and the Paperworkers‘ Union Paperiliitto have today both approved settlement proposals submitted by the conciliator after negotiations had been suspended on 14 April.
"The strike at UPM mills in Finland will end immediately and employees will return to work", the company announced shortly after the agreement was made. The strike covered UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels units in Finland. The company said it would restart customer deliveries as soon as possible.
The exceptionnally long strike was dragging on since the beginning of the year. As UPM and Paperiliitto could not reach an agreement, the strike was extended several times, most recently until 14 May. Originally, approximately 2,100 members of the union went on strike, but approximately 200 of them were ordered to uphold tasks critical to society, such as heat generation and water management, by a court order.
While UPM was seeking a separate agreement for each of its five business units, Paperiliitto was demanding a uniform agreement on working conditions at all of UPM’s Finnish pulp and paper mills. Now, the parties have agreed on separate collective labour agreements. "We are very pleased that the parties have approved all settlement proposals and that the Paperworkers’ Union’s long strike ends. UPM and the union have made history together by agreeing on five business-specific collective labour agreements, which replace the paper industry´s old agreement stemming from the 1940’s," commented Riitta Savonlahti, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, UPM.
The contract period of the new agreements is four years, according to UPM. Revisions to wages will be negotiated after the first two years.