Salaried employees take decisive measures
and opt for a two-week strike in
the paper industry
Pro (07.04.2011 - Juhani Artto)
In and around one thousand salaried employees, working for the forest
industry company UPM-Kymmene, began a strike on Thursday morning. Pro, the
trade union of salaried employees, believes that most of UPM-Kymmene's
factories in Finland will interrupt their production this week.
The strike is planned to go on for two weeks. It will have an impact, for
example, on the international administrative centre in Tampere. The centre
is responsible for the company's financial administration, governance of the
delivery chain, personnel and data management and all business in the energy
sector. The industrial action will also effect UPM's production and UPM
Seaway's port activity in Kotka, thus restricting the company's exports.
The major disagreement between Pro and the employer organization Finnish
Forest Industries Federation concerns the salary system. Salaried employees
of the paper industry want to have a similar salary system to the one
applied in most industries where Pro represents salaried employees. The
system takes into account both work requirements and personal skills.
According to Pro this kind of salary system motivates the staff and supports
the management of the company and thus benefits both the employer and the
The employer side had previously promised to implement such a salary
system. Pledges or promises to this effect had been given at three previous
Another disagreement concerns the model that should be used with respect to
salary rises. Pro proposes a mixed model whereby lower salaries are raised
in euros and higher salaries in percentages. This would mean a relatively
higher increase in salaries at the lower end of the income scale. In the
paper industry it would improve pay equality as female salaried employees
clearly earn less than male salaried employees.
With its 130,000 rank and file members Pro is the largest salaried
employees' union in the private sector and also the largest private sector
affiliate in the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK.