The Office of the National Conciliator said that an immediate resumption of conciliation was not appropriate because, despite their convergence, the parties’ positions were still quite far apart.
Forestry company The mediation of a labor dispute between UPM and the Paper Association regarding the company’s printing paper business has been suspended.
The Office of the National Conciliator said on Saturday that an immediate resumption of conciliation is not appropriate because, despite their convergence, the parties’ positions are still quite far apart.
According to the mediator, Paperiliitto and UPM are working to settle labor disputes in the company’s four other business areas. Other business areas are specialty paper, pulp, labels and biofuels.
According to UPM, the Paper Association would also have deviated from its previous position that agreements concerning the entire company should be settled at once.
The Paper Association and UPM have not agreed on the following meeting dates for printing papers, UPM says in a press release. Instead, mediation on specialty paper, labels and biofuels will continue, both sides say.
Work dispute settled by a mediator Leo Finland has already submitted a settlement proposal regarding the company’s pulp business in March. The parties have been asked to respond to the presentation by Thursday next week.
At the time, the Paper Association had said that it would be ready to accept UPM’s settlement proposal for the pulp business only if an agreement was reached at the same time for all of UPM’s paper union members.
“It aims to get everyone in order so that everyone can get to work at the same time,” the union president said Petri Vanhala said at that time to BTI.
The board of the Paper Association will meet on Wednesday and will make its decision based on the current situation, the association says.
Paper union The strike at UPM has continued uninterrupted since the beginning of the year. With these prospects in mind, the union has announced that it will continue to work until the end of April, unless an agreement on a new collective agreement (tes) is reached before then.
The forest industry has seen an exceptional round of test negotiations, when the employers’ organization Metsäteollisuus ry announced in good time that it was withdrawing from the collective agreements concerning the sector. The Paper Association signed a company-specific collective agreement with two other large forest groups, Stora Enso and Metsä Group, as early as last year.
In contrast, UPM has wanted an even more ambitious local agreement and separate agreements for its businesses. The Paper Association also initially sought a company-specific agreement at UPM.
The strike against UPM has affected Finnish newspapers. Several magazines have downsized their print products due to problems with the availability of printing paper. In addition to the strike, the availability of paper has been affected by the decisions of media companies to abandon the use of Russian paper after the country invaded Ukraine in February.
According to the Media Association, about one-fifth of Finnish newspapers were printed on Russian paper before the Paper League’s strike began.