Only the Forest Industry has a say in this, was one of the first assessments when the Forest Industry announced that it would abandon the collective bargaining system (TES) after the current agreements and that it would be appropriate in future for companies and workplaces.

And the forest industry has a square.

This was already demonstrated by the Forest Industry's six-week lockout in 2005, in which it responded to the Paper Association's point strikes.

The forest industry won the battle, and the Paper Association has not recovered to its former power since then.

The forest industry has one effective means of exerting pressure: international paper companies can move their production outside Finland, at least threaten it.

But the forest industry is more than just paper mills: small sawmills and plywood mills that struck spectacularly at the turn of the year.

They are not transferred.

They will die if they are not profitable.

In the future, salaries, shifts and working hours, for example, will be agreed locally.

The current contracts in the forest industry expire within 15-27 months.

In the old days, the trick would have led to even a general strike level, but times have changed.

There will hardly be any strikes, but there is guaranteed to be a shout from the direction of the trade union movement.

It is therefore a matter of the forest industry paving the way for a local agreement.

Local agreement has not progressed, so now it is being pursued, even by force, under the leadership of the Forest Industry.

It is illustrative that Mikael Pentikäinen, CEO of Suomen Yrittäjät, was the first to praise the decision of the Forest Industry.

Entrepreneurs have been pushing for a local deal in vain for as long as there is enough memory.

Now the trick of the forest industry may contribute to the promotion of local agreement also within the TES system.

For the trade union movement, the knowledge of the forest industry is still appalling.

Hakaniemi's employee temples know exactly what it is all about.

For example, what will the Paper Association do in the future if there is no need to turn collective agreements?

Jorma Malinen, chairman of the trade union Pro, estimates that the forest industry is moving back to the operating culture in which professional organization was once born.

A similar previous shock was when the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK announced that it was abandoning centralized contracts in February 2017.

It is now interesting to follow what other employers ’associations are doing.

For example, do the Technology Industry or the Chemical Industry follow the example of the Forest Industry?

The forest industry itself intends to implement the reform by changing the rules of the Finnish Forest Industry Association so that the association resigns from its duties as a labor market organization, but continues as an industry policy influencer in the industry.

Metsäteollisuus ry is responsible for the current collective agreements until their expiration, on December 31, 2022 at the latest.

Why now?

It can be considered.

Year-end and early-year strikes in the mechanical forest industry, for example?

Moral fingerprinting of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd) to UPM on the shutdown of the Jämsä Kaipola plant?


So what happens to salaries, for example, will be seen when the current TES season ends.

In any case, this is a historic change.

At least paper industry shop stewards are comforted by the knowledge that wages are only a small item of expenditure for large companies.

But in sawmills and plywood factories, for example, the situation is completely different.

That is what it is: a unified wage policy for the forest industry will be history.