Finland's Pro trade union threatens to broaden its salaried paper industry employees' strike to Stora Enso, Metsäliitto for two-week period beginning April 27, FFIF says union's actions no longer proportionate to goals

HELSINKI , April 12, 2011 (press release) – Pro’s threat to broaden the scope of its strike is incomprehensible. Why is Pro threatening to shut down the activities of the Finnish forest industry and endangering the jobs of its members who work in the industry’s support functions?” asks Jari Forss.

“Pro’s actions are no longer in any way proportionate to the goals it is seeking to achieve, and its choices are also having an adverse impact on other occupational groups. The strike’s expansion will inevitably lead to a re-evaluation of which countries support functions are located in. It is certain that constant striking does nothing to improve the position of Finnish salaried employees,” says Deputy Director General Jari Forss of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation..

The dispute originally focused on the distribution of a one-percent company-specific pay rise – an issue on which an agreement was reached with other occupational groups. But then Pro announced that it wanted to change the industry’s pay system and backed up its demand with a threat of industrial action. Terms of employment should be developed around a negotiation table without always resorting to mediation from the National Conciliator.

Pro has announced that it is expanding the salaried paper industry employees’ strike to Stora Enso and Metsäliitto for a two-week period starting on Wednesday 27 April. Pro launched a strike affecting salaried UPM employees on 6 April; Pro says that this strike will end on 20 April. In addition to this, Pro declared an overtime ban for salaried paper industry employees that took effect on 1 April.

The collective labour agreement of the paper industry covers more than 3,000 people.

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