Turmoil in Finnish Forestry: Strikes Force Mill Closures and Wage Suspensions

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Finland's forestry sector is currently facing turmoil as transport and logistics workers stage a two-week walkout, leading to temporary closures of paper and pulp mills operated by major companies like UPM, Stora Enso, and the Metsä Group.

While members of the paperworkers' union are not directly participating in the strike, collateral disruptions have forced these closures. Controversially, some companies, like UPM, have decided to suspend wage payments for affected employees, sparking criticism from labor unions.

UPM's decision, defended by its Labour Markets VP, Jyrki Hollmén, is based on existing legislation, notably the Employment Contracts Act, which does not mandate wage payments during strikes aimed at influencing legislative changes.

The situation highlights the broader socio-economic implications of labor disputes on Finland's forestry sector, emphasizing the delicate balance between labor rights, corporate interests, and governmental policies.

As tensions escalate, stakeholders await resolution, hoping for a balance that considers both worker rights and industrial realities.