Several local communities are preparing for district heating outages, as the forest industry company UPM and the Paper Association have failed to resolve wage and conditional disputes.
Three energy companies are appealing to the Paper Association, which represents paper industry workers, and UPM, a giant in the forest industry, to resolve their dispute to avoid disturbances in district heating.
The paper union is set to strike UPM’s mills on 1 January, threatening access to district heating in many places.
"Some cities are already shutting down their biogas plants and starting up their reserve oil combustion plants," The directors of Rauma Energia, Kouvola KSS Energia and Lappeenranta Energia said in a joint statement.
The dispute is based on a dispute over UPM’s salary and working conditions.
Metsäjätti wants flexibility in changing working conditions for people who do the same work in different units, but the unions are opposed to the change.
The Paper Association has announced that it will exclude district heating operations if UPM continues to apply the current collective agreement after the new year. However, UPM announced that it will start implementing its own terms and conditions of employment, which have not been negotiated with the Paper Association.
Traditionally, Finnish labor negotiations have been sector-specific, and the collective agreement guarantees peace at work between trade unions and companies. This time, employers’ organizations have refused to negotiate a sector-wide agreement, preferring to negotiate on a company-by-company basis.
Source: The Nordic Page