Hopes raised for resolution at UPM labels wing

UPM is hopeful agreements will be reached soon
UPM is hopeful agreements will be reached soon

A possible agreement is in sight over strike action at UPM Raflatac and UPM Specialty Papers.

UPM announced this afternoon (11 April) that mediator Leo Suomaa has submitted proposals, and UPM and the Paperworkers' Union have been asked to respond by Thursday morning (14 April) by 10am Finnish time (8am UK time).

Riitta Savonlahti, executive VP of human resources at UPM, said: "I am pleased that the negotiations have reached a point where conciliation settlements are presented. I hope agreements will be reached soon, and we get to start the mills."

If an agreement can be reached it will be a huge relief to label printers across Europe, where the lack of material availability caused by the strike has forced some firms to introduce short-time working, with industry body FINAT flagging the  damaging impact of the crisis. 

The Paperworkers’ Union said that its board of directors would discuss the settlement proposals received, and the status of UPM's test negotiations, at a meeting on 13 April.

Negotiations with UPM Biofuels continue, but have stalled at UPM Communication Papers.

If agreements are reached at UPM Raflatac and UPM Specialty Papers it will still take a number of weeks for full production to be restored at the mills.

UPM Raflatac makes label substrates and is also the largest supplier of label backing papers used by other label material manufacturers.

UPM Specialty Papers makes packaging, kraft and release base papers.