Helsinki (14.12.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) FOPCU, the paper workers' union in Uruguay is worried about UPM’s unwillingness to negotiate with the trade unions in Finland. At the beginning of December, the union sent a letter to the UPM CEO Jussi Pesonen.
FOPCU writes that they are concerned as to whether the lack of understanding and dialogue will be transferred to Uruguay, where dialogue between the parties is working well at the moment.
We in Uruguay, writes FOPCU President Washington Cayaffa, do not understand UPM's distancing itself from the good practises of social dialogue. It has been and continues to be useful in avoiding conflicts, which do not benefit any of the parties, he adds.
"Experience shows us that only social dialogue allows us to reach agreements that benefit all of us, workers and companies alike", President Cayaffa adds.
UPM is a major pulp producer in Uruguay. The Fray Bentos pulp mill produces 1.3 million tonnes of pulp annually. And right now the Paso de los Toros pulp mill is under construction, and it will produce 2.1 million tonnes of pulp a year. In Finland, the three UPM pulp mills combined produce some 2.5 million tonnes of pulp a year.
FOPCU has a collective agreement at the Fray Bentos factory. For the Paso de los Toros factory UPM proposed only individual work contracts, no collective agreements. However, after a long round of negotiations FOPCU succeeded, this autumn, in reaching a collective agreement. This will be in place when the new employees at the factory begin work.
UPM published in February 2021 a document explaining its policy in Uruguay. "UPM is fully committed to freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining", it says. For Finland, it has not made a similar statement.