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Survey: UPM do not treat salaried employees even-handedly

Written byHeikki Jokinen
Forestry giant UPM adamantly refuses to engage in collective bargaining with their salaried employees. Since the beginning of this year, they have not had any collective agreement whatsoever.

According to the UPM press release last December, "defining terms of employment without collective agreement gives the same starting point and possibilities for everyone".

Now, UPM has had time to translate this into reality as there is no collective agreement for their salaried employees in Finland. Their actions seem to be based on a policy of divide and rule.

Trade Union Pro conducted a survey in the summer for its members working at UPM to find out what this means in practise. One out of three members responded.

According to the survey, 55 per cent said that their total income had risen in 2022. Income has been the same, said 31 per cent and 14 per cent noted a drop in their total income.

Members said that the drop is due to the company withdrawing completely or partly several bonuses paid for instance when working overtime or on Saturdays, pay for travel time or being in reserve in cases of emergency that may arise at work.

Of those who replied, 31 per cent said they got compensation for the withdrawal of some of these bonuses that were earlier part of the collective agreement. However, 46 per cent said that their pay rise without these compensations was less than the common 1.9 per cent pay rise in the collective agreements.

The atmosphere in the workplace has taken a turn for the worse, said 64 per cent. 71 per cent said they have been considering looking for a new job.

UPM promised that if productivity does not fall, the terms of employment will not worsen in the next five years. Now, the company is making good results, but the terms of employment continue to deteriorate.

– The results confirm our thoughts that in reality only collective agreements guarantee even-handed treatment and development of income. The pay rise is not distributed even-handedly and lags behind the general pay rises, says Pro President Jorma Malinen.