Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Finnish paper makers break national bargaining

14 October, 2020IndustriALL Global Union condemns the decision of the employers’ group in Finland to break the long-standing sector bargaining, as it attempts to reduce labour costs to expand profits.

The existing national collective agreements expire at the end of 2021, giving the parties over a year to build a new negotiation model.

The three unions affected by this decision are all IndustriALL affiliates: the Finnish Paper Workers’ Union Paperiliitto, the Finnish Industrial Union Teollisuusliitto, and Trade Union Pro.

The three unions’ joint briefing paper today says:

“The trade unions deplore the reform, which is undermining the Finnish labor market system. This well-functioning system brings a lot of stability and predictability to the Finnish labor market. The current collective agreements have considerable scope for agreeing on company level, for example, on working hours. The national collective agreement guarantees the employer a fair competitive environment and industrial peace, as well as more equal treatment for employees.”

The national agreement assures minimum conditions for workers throughout the sector in Finland, including at the companies which are not members of the Forest Industries group. On top of financial conditions, the agreements bring paid parental leave, sick leave, holiday bonus, and more.

The national agreements cover about 28,000 blue-collar workers and white-collar employees, at 80 companies and more than 100 production plants.

The Finnish Forest Industries group comprises 72 well-known companies operating in forestry, pulp and paper.

IndustriALL pulp and paper director, Tom Grinter said:

“This decision by the employers’ group is based on greed. Greed for short term profits, at the detriment of stability and strong industrial relations. The Finnish unions have our full support.”