Talks stall at crucial UPM business unit

Talks continue at UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Biofuels
Talks continue at UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Biofuels

A mixed picture is emerging from the ongoing mediation process aimed at resolving the long-running strike action at UPM’s Finnish mills.

Over the weekend the strike reached an unprecedented 100 days in length. 

On Saturday (9 April), UPM announced that that conciliation process between the Paperworkers’ Union and UPM Communication Papers had stalled “as the parties’ views are still far apart”.

However, talks are continuing at UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Biofuels. 

“Unlike before, the Paperworkers’ Union is now ready to finalise agreements for UPM’s different businesses non-simultaneously,” UPM stated. 

The group said this means that UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac, and UPM Biofuels can “prepare to find solutions on the same schedule as UPM Pulp”.

UPM Pulp is expected to respond to the settlement proposal that’s on the table for that business later this week. The deadline is 14 April.

Union Paperiliitto said: “The Paper Association will continue to negotiate collective agreements on the basis of mediation. The Board of the Paper Association will meet on April 13 to make its own decisions based on the current situation.”

UPM said that no meeting was currently scheduled with the union and the Communication Papers business. 

UPM’s Communication Papers division had sales of just under €3.58bn (£3bn) last year and was UPM’s biggest business unit, but also the only division to make a loss, and was in the red to the tune of €79m at the EBIT level.

The strike is affecting UPM’s Finnish pulp and paper mills, and based on the most recent extension is set to run until 30 April. 

The mills involved are:

  • UPM Jämsänkoski (graphic papers including uncoated magazine paper and specialty papers)
  • UPM Kymi (WFC and WFU graphic papers including Finesse and Fine)
  • UPM Kaukas (LWC graphic papers including Ultra and Star)
  • UPM Rauma (LWC magazine papers)
  • UPM Tervasaari (specialty release liner base papers)
  • UPM Raflatac Tampere (labels)