Industrial action in Finland

foodOn Thursday last week, employees of the Atria food group of Finland at the Forssa facility participated in a walkout, according to reports in the Finnish News Agency, STT.

According to chief shop steward, Anne Sulander, the walkout lasted until Monday and was caused by difficulties between the staff and the management of Atria, which has been unyielding during recent talks.

Personnel manager for Atria, Tapio Palolahti, told STT he was surprised the walkout had to go ahead, especially during the middle of the talks going on between the two groups. Palolahti felt that the talks had been progressing in a “matter-of-fact manner” which made the walk-out all the more surprising.

At the end of March, Atria announced that it had plans to cut 230 jobs, in both Forssa and Kannus, as part of a large-scale restructuring programme in Finland. The staff cuts, in addition to other restructuring elements, are estimated to save the company around EUR 4 million a year. It is for that reason, to increase efficiency and increase savings, that the restructuring is taking place.

Although the number of employees will be downsized at two locations, the restructuring will create approximately 60 new jobs in other production plants. Those affected by the cuts will be offered a chance to move factories and transfer to another location in Finland.

The food processing plant in Forssa currently employs 170 people.