Long strike in mechanical wood industry ends in Finland

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A long strike in the Finnish mechanical wood industries ended on Sunday, as the proposals by National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala were accepted by both the Finnish Forest Industries Federation and the Finnish Industrial Union.

The strike by nearly 10,000 workers mainly in the sawmills and plywood plants had begun in late January.

According to Piekkala, the salary increases for mechanical wood industry workers in the contracts follow the same level as in previous contracts initially reached in the technological sector, about 3.3 percent in just over two years.

The 24 unpaid hours per year agreed in the 2016 competitive edge package will be dropped. In return, the employers will be allowed to increase paid working time for three days in a year.

Jyrki Hollmen, labour market director of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, welcomed the agreement. He said the fixed hours will be replaced by more flexible working time solutions. “The contract is in line with our goals: uptime, increased productivity and flexibility,” he was quoted by Finnish media Yle as saying.

Increasing the production of sawmills and plywood mills may mean providing more work, or employment, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation announced a moment later, according to Yle.

“The agreement now reached is the best that could be achieved under these conditions.” Turja Lehtonen, first vice president of the Industrial Union, was quoted by Yle as saying.

According to Lehtonen, work will begin on Monday morning at the latest. Enditem

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