Workers Strike Over Job Cuts at Finnish Paper Mill

UPM-Kymmene announced job cuts last week

Some 5,000 workers at Finnish papermaker UPM-Kymmene walked off the job early on Sept. 16 for a 24-hour strike over the company's plans to cut 1,600 jobs, the company said. UPM and its Finnish rival Stora Enso, which is Europe's leading paper and cardboard maker, announced last week plans to cut a total of 3,300 jobs.

"Production at six of our eight paper mills has been halted today," UPM's spokeswoman Sini Paloheimo said. Workers at two mills in Valkeakoski and Kajaani that are scheduled for closure by the end of the year did not participate in the strike.

Paloheimo said production was expected start again on Sept. 16.

The paper and forestry sector is struggling to cope with shrinking demand and surging costs linked in part to neighboring Russia's decision to significantly hike its wood export duties.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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