YTN Issues Strike Warning in Finnish Paper Industry

Walkout of senior salaried employees planned for October 22 and strike action from October 29 to November 2

Oct. 13, 2010 - The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN) on October 7 issued a formal warning of industrial action in the Finnish paper industry.

According to YTN, at the first stage of this action senior salaried employees in the industry will down tools at noon on Friday, October 22 in a one-day demonstration.

This will be followed by a full-scale strike that is due to begin at 6.01 a.m. on Friday, October 29 and end at the same time on Tuesday, November 2, YTN said.

Unless headed off by a late settlement, the stoppages will affect all companies affiliated to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation that fall within the scope of the dispute, together with their associated paper industry workplaces and establishments throughout Finland, YTN said.

The Finnish Forest Industries Federation has not issued a statement about the situation.

YTN said its Board took the decision to issue a strike warning at a meeting held on October 6 after negotiations with the Finnish Forest Industries Federation had stalled.

YTN explained that about 3,000 senior salaried employees belonging to YTN-affiliated trade unions have not been covered by any collective agreement in the paper industry since autumn 2009.

The main obstacle to a new agreement concerns collective bargaining on the possibility of concluding local working time bank agreements, YTN said.

"Working time irregularities are one of the main shortcomings in the terms and conditions of employment of senior salaried employees working in the forest industry, with employers most often failing to pay compensation for overtime and work-related travel during time off," YTN said in a written statement.

"The unions are also calling for salary increases that at least match the general policy for the industry," YTN added.

A ban imposed by YTN on September 1 prohibiting overtime and work-related travel during time off by senior salaried employees in the paper industry will also continue.

SOURCE: Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN)

NOTE: The YTN is the negotiating organization of the upper-level salaried employees in the private sector and the body responsible for the collective agreements of university-educated staff.