Paper mill in northern Finland confirms hundreds of layoffs

The 84-year-old Oulu Mill in Oulu’s Nuottasaari industrial district, in northern Finland. (Paulus Markkula/Yle)
Finnish-Swedish forest industry firm Stora Enso has confirmed that it is shedding 365 jobs at its Oulu Mill, in northern Finland, following the conclusion of co-determination talks with unions.

The company had announced plans to cut as many as 400 jobs at the mill in March.

Meanwhile, the company said it will invest around 350 million euros to convert the mill into a packaging board factory, according to CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström.

“The conversion of Oulu Mill will enable Stora Enso to further improve its position in the growing packaging business and take a major step forward in its transformation,” Sundström said in a press release issued Tuesday.

The type of packaging board that will be made at Oulu Mill, called kraftliner, is used to store food products and in heavy duty packages, according to the firm.

Cuts finalised by end of 2020

The firm said after the restructuring is complete, the mill will employ around 180 people. As of last March, the facility had around 400 employees.

Stora Enso said the looming job cuts will be carried out by the end of 2020 and that the company would provide support to those who lost their jobs.

A maximum of 20 percent of the layoffs will be managed through pension arrangements, according to Stora Enso’s paper division executive vice president Kati ter Horst.

“We will be working closely together with other Stora Enso locations, the city of Oulu and other stakeholders to support in re-employment for those employees who will not have a position in the new organisation. Our support will include outplacement services as well as individual and group trainings for re-employment. We will also offer financial support for employees starting up their own companies,” ter Horst said in the release.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Northerners not ready to cash in on massive mine cleanup in Arctic Canada, report says, CBC News

Finland: Could telecommuting keep Finland’s small towns viable?, Yle News

Sweden: Scandinavian Airlines and pilots union reach agreement to end strike, Radio Sweden

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