Finnish paper lockout ends after six weeks of devastation



A new collective labour agreement has terminated the six-week lockout in the Finnish paper industry that has caused manufacturers devastating losses.


UPM, which claimed it had lost Euro 4 million ($4.9 million) a day in operating profits, is expected to up hourly staffing costs by 4.4 per cent for the first two years, according to president/CEO Jussi Pesonen.


"The shortening of paper workers’ working time will affect negatively," he said in a statement. "Neither did the agreement text include any solutions to reduce Finnish paper workers’ high absenteeism. It is disappointing that we will suffer from the rigid and complex collective agreement structure."


Stora Enso, which lost Euro 3 million a day, said the shutdown will reduce Q2 earnings by Euro 150 million and added that Q3 earnings would also be weakened.


The lockout caused Stora Enso to shut down dozens of mills. And in June, the company announced plans to lay off 92 workers at its Veitsilouto sawmill in Finland.


M-Real announced it lost Euro 1.2 million per day throughout the lockout.