Strikes at Finland’s sawmills and plywood factories highly probable as negotiations with Union continues28 January 2020
The strikes threatening forestry could damage the industry to the tune of €1bn. The Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF) believes that it is highly probable that the strike at sawmills and plywood factories called for by the Industrial Union will take place.
Negotiations around the new terms of employment have not made much progress. “It seems that the Industrial Union is not interested in real negotiations and jointly agreeing. The Industrial Union aims for a harmonised package solution in all export industries and does not understand that the purpose of the collective bargaining round is to agree on industry-specific terms of employment,” said Labour Market Director Jyrki Hollmén from the FFIF.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation has a negotiation connection with the Finnish Paper Workers’ Union representing the paper, paperboard and pulp industry employees. “There is no sign of a resolution yet, and the extremely harmful strikes threaten the entire industry. There are many outstanding issues on the table,” says Hollmén.
For the competitiveness of the Finnish forest industry, there is considerably more at stake than just the future of the so-called “kiky” hours, which increased the annual working time by 24 hours.
If the forest industry exports were to be paralysed for 14 days, Finland could lose up to €500m in export earnings. Paper and paperboard products are the most significant export products of Finland, and the overall value of the forest industry export is more than €13bn per year.