UPM continues to aim for company-specific collective bargaining with the Paper Workers’ Union, but is also preparing to organize the working conditions of the companies concerned without collective agreements

UPM continues to aim for company-specific collective bargaining with the Paper Workers Union but also started preparations to temporarily adjust working conditions without a collective labor agreement until agreements with the union are signed. During this week, UPM communicates the temporary working conditions to employees of companies where the contractual part is the Paper Workers Union.

The collective agreements in force between Union of Paper Workers and Finnish Federation of Forest Industries will end on December 31, 2021. After termination, the current agreement has no binding effect as the parts of the agreement change. The time for negotiations is running out, so UPM must prepare for a situation where no agreement is in place.

“To ensure business continuity and payroll, we will prepare to organize working conditions after the start of the year in accordance with labor law, UPM practices and personal employment contracts. With company-specific collective bargaining, we can offer better terms for everyone than without a deal. Enter into negotiations with the Paper Workers Union is always our goal, ”says executive vice president Riitta Savonlahti of UPM’s human resources.

An important topic in negotiations would be employee representation. Union-affiliated shop stewards have a key role to play in developing operations and building a culture of constructive cooperation. UPM has an extensive system of employee representation in all of its activities and considers this to be an important goal for the future as well.

The working conditions communicated during this week allow operations to continue after the start of the year, but do not represent specific company objectives for negotiations. Companies will not state their targets until after negotiations have started.

Operating without a collective labor agreement will have implications, for example, on the working time system of factories, the salary structure and the possibility of recording union dues. Under the current collective agreement with the Paper Workers Union the average annual gross salary of our worker with regular working hours in continuous three-sieve work is about 63 000 euros and the weekly working hours are 34.5. In addition, UPM’s short-term incentive program applies to all employees. The short-term incentive plan is part of the UPM benefits package, which also remains in place in a situation where the collective labor agreement is not in place.

UPM benefits ensure safety in various life situations and include elements of compensation and skills development. The benefits exceed the standards set by law and collective agreements in many ways, and they apply to all staff in the workplace. Finland regardless of staff group or collective agreement.

Since the spring, UPM’s companies have sought to conclude company-specific collective bargaining with the Paper Workers Union and employee representatives to negotiate flexible ways of organizing work, working hours and wages, as well as skills development within companies. For the moment, contacts have only been made within UPM Biofuels, where the parties have met and exchanged information on the location of the negotiations.

The paper workers union is currently a trading partner for five companies within UPM. In two other companies, the negotiating partner is the Industrial Union, which has been negotiating with UPM for months. Each UPM business has revenues corresponding to at least a mid-sized listed company, and their products, markets and operating environment differ considerably.

For UPM, it is important to involve more people in the negotiations than before. In addition to union representatives, company management and local employee representatives would also be involved, bringing the much needed understanding of business and day-to-day work in factories to the discussions.


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We offer renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils in six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As an industry leader in accountability, we are committed to meeting the United Nations trade ambition for 1.5 degree C and science-based goals to mitigate climate change. We employ 18,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately 8.6 billion euros. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond Fossils. www.upm.com

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