In an open letter to the company management the employees’ representatives express their concern whether UPM is violating the fundamental rights at work. The salaried employees demand that the terms of their work should be negotiated collectively with Trade Union Pro that represents them.
Forest company UPM announced on 8 February 2021 that it will scrap collective bargaining with salaried employees. In practice this means that the employer would in the future unilaterally dictate pay rises, sick pays, maternity and paternity leaves as well as holiday bonuses.
However, earlier in January UPM told its personnel how the company was still willing to negotiate collectively the terms and conditions for salaried employees in company-wide negotiations. In their open letter, the representatives of UPM’s salaried employees tell how heavily disappointed and appalled they are by the apparent contempt the company is showing towards its ethical values that emphasize trust and agreement.
– We think that we have been downright deluded by the employer. If this goes on, it will lead to distrust and hamper work motivation and well-being to nobody’s benefit, the salaried employees’ write.
According to the President of Trade Union Pro Jorma Malinen, UPM threatens to destroy the trust of their personnel.
– Responsible employer cannot act like this without consequences. How can the employer in this day and age pursue a return to dictatorial policies with such a contempt towards the contractual society that has provided the basis for the company’s success?
According to the President Malinen, UPM’s rejection of collective bargaining has gathered wide international attention. In their open letter, the employees’ representatives challenge UPM’s full compliance with the international obligations concerning the fundamental rights at work.
– As a global actor, UPM should consider that unless it can act responsibly and in accordance with its international obligations, it will jeopardize the trust of its clients and investors, Malinen continues.
UPM’s social responsibility has been questioned also globally. Earlier this March a UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reported its concern over monitoring of human rights in UPM’s operations abroad.
– Is the company respecting its own values at the moment? President Malinen asks.
In their open letter the employees’ representatives demand that the terms and conditions for salaried employees should be negotiated collectively with Trade Union Pro. Read the open letter here.