Strike closes Finnish UPM pulp and paper mill Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: A magazine roll was seen at the UPM-Kymmene paper mill in Kokas, Lappeenranta, Finland on March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jussi Rosendahl

Helsinki (Reuters)-Finnish forestry group UPM said on Saturday that about 3,000 workers went on strike and closed its factories.

The three unions representing paper workers, managers and electricians have previously warned that they will go on strike if they fail to reach a new agreement on wages and working conditions before the previous agreement ends on December 31.

UPM withdrew from collective bargaining with other forestry employers a year ago, saying that the industry hopes to find other ways to agree on wages and working conditions to increase profitability.

Although workers asked UPM to sign company-wide labor agreements, the company has been pushing for specific business agreements and signed agreements with its plywood and timber departments.

The three unions stated that UPM’s pulp, paper and biofuel business workers stated that UPM wanted to impose new conditions rather than negotiate.

The union previously stated in a separate statement that unless an agreement is reached before then, the strike will end on January 22.

Inderes analyst Antti Viljakainen told Reuters earlier that UPM’s costs are expected to be at least twice the 30 million euros ($34 million) caused by the last strike in 2020.

UPM’s competitor, Stora Enso (OTC:), has signed a company-wide agreement with the union.

(1 USD = 0.8797 Euro)

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