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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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TU threatens to strike in the joinery industry and at sawmills

TU (02.09.2010 - Juhani Artto) The Union of Salaried Employees TU announced on Wednesday the threat of taking strike action in the mechanical forest industry and joinery industry. The proposed strike would involve about 500 salaried employees who work, for example, as supervisors, sales assistants and production planners.
 
The strike is to begin on September 16 and will last two weeks unless the parties manage to agree on a new collective agreement. The eventual strike will focus on sawmills and factories producing furniture, kitchen furniture, windows and doors. 
 
The previous agreement expired on August 31. However, the rulings of the  expired agreement are now part of employees' personal employment agreements, says Jari Uschanov, TU's bargaining director in these industries.
 
 On Wednesday, TU announced also an overtime ban for the entire wood industry. The ban took effect mmediately. In the wood industry TU's agreement concerns almost 3,000 salaried employees.
 
For this year TU demands an increase of 0.9 per cent in salaries and for the following year two per cent that should be used for development of the employment system. Employers are offering well below the one per cent pay rise that would mainly be shared in local negotiations. Antti Rinne, the President of the TU, regards the employers' offer as "an under-priced joke".
 
- The wood industry is faring fairly well again now but in the last few years companies have cut jobs, especially many salaried employee jobs.
 
The key element at the bargaining table is the employment system and its  unification, Rinne emphasizes. In many other industries there has occurred an adaptation to change by developing the employment system.

- Also the mechanical forest industry and joinery industry need a system that is created in the collective bargaining and that includes a personal salary provision. Thus money can partly be used for individual incentives. 
 
And the mechanical forest industry workers have also called a ban on overtime, which is already in effect.
 
On Wednesday the Union of Wood and Allied Workers announced an overtime ban for the entire mechanical forest industry. It concerns 18,000 workers. The parties are in disagreement over pay rises and several other issues. The overtime ban will continue until a satisfactory solution to the disagreements has been found, the union says.
 
The board of the union will have an extraordinary meeting on September 13 to appraise the situation further and take any other necessary decisions.