Finnish Transport Workers Strike Could Halt Paper Production
March 3, 2010 - Finnish papermaker UPM said that the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT) strike, which started on March 2, will halt the delivery of raw materials to the company's Finnish mills and "seriously impede the transportation of products from mills to its customers."
The strike affects 35 bus and lorry companies around Finland, and has also stopped trash collection.
The strike will have an immediate impact on the operations of all UPM mills in Finland, the company said.
Additionally, if the strike expands to involve the stevedores of the Finnish ports, it will in effect shut down all of UPM's paper machines in Finland within a few days, UPM warned.
The labor dispute, between AKT and the Employers’ Federation of Road Transport (ALT), involves union demands for pay and severance benefits, which the management side considers excessive, as well as the use of part-time labor and subcontracting.
UPM estimated that the strike could cost the company in excess of EUR 3 million a day.
UPM said that it will be forced to shut down its mills in Finland when operations are no longer possible due to the lack of raw material and paper storage.
In accordance with the Finnish Contracts of Employment Act, UPM said that it will suspend salary payment 7 days after the end of paper machine production work.
UPM plans to deliver customer orders from its mills located in other countries.
Nearly half of UPM's paper production capacity is located in Finland.