pulp bales in port

AKT Blockade against UPM Not Helping Labor Negotiations with Paperworkers’ Union

Jan. 24, 2022 - The Transport Workers’ Union AKT on Jan. 22 announced a blockade against UPM in Finland to support the strikes of the Paperworkers’ Union and the Finnish Electrical Workers´ Union.

According to UPM, AKT’s support measures will be carried out as a blockade in Finnish ports. During the blockade, the stevedores will not handle UPM’s paper and pulp. The blockade begins on 24 January at 06:00.

“AKT’s actions do not advance functioning labour markets. AKT is not even a party in the negotiations, which we aim to start with the Paperworkers’ Union,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets, UPM.

Members of the Paperworkers’ Union, the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union and the Trade Union Pro have on Jan. 1 started strikes at UPM mills in Jämsänkoski, Kouvola, Lappeenranta, Pietarsaari, Rauma, Tampere and Valkeakoski.

UPM businesses falling under the strikes are UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac. The strikes do not concern UPM Plywood and UPM Timber, both of which signed business specific collective agreements with the Industrial Union in December. Furthermore, UPM Energy operates as usual, as it complies with the generally applied collective agreements of the energy industry.

"We hope to get into negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union soon, so that both parties can present their goals and seek solutions acceptable to all. Members of the Paperworkers’ Union certainly have the right to strike but now it only postpones the start of negotiations. The AKT blockade doesn’t make the situation any better," Hollmén continues.

UPM still strives to start the negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union and to agree on business-specific collective labour agreements for those UPM businesses that as of 1 January 2022 don’t have a CLA in effect.

“Our businesses are very different from each other, which is why business-specific agreements are essential to us. What we need now are agreements that will enable each business to succeed well into the future. This will benefit all parties,” highlights Hollmén.

At this point, UPM does not disclose estimates of the economic impacts of the strikes or the blockade.

About UPM

Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Paper ENA and UPM Plywood.