BRUSSELS, Aug. 30, 2013 (RISI) - Stora Enso has kicked off negotiations with employee representatives regarding job cuts at several of its mills in Finland and Sweden.
This is part of the company's plans to streamline operations and cut costs by some Euro 200 million ($267 million), announced in June. As a result, the company may slash up to 2,500 jobs in total. In Finland, 650 jobs may disappear, while 750 may be cut in Sweden. The company will also axe 850 positions in Europe excluding the Nordic countries, while 250 jobs could be trimmed outside Europe.
A company spokesperson confirmed that negotiations have started at several mills in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium, as well as for some group and support functions. "All units are going through their operations and when the planning is finished, if necessary, they will start co-determination negotiations locally," she said.
In Finland, Stora Enso has started negotiations with employee representatives at its Anjala, Imatra, Ingerois, Oulu, Varkaus and Veitsiluoto mills.
At its Imatra complex, Stora Enso may axe up to 165 jobs, while it might cut 13 positions at its research center, also located in Imatra.
The firm may cut around 20 jobs at its Oulu mill, up to 50 positions at its Veitsiluoto facility, some 40 jobs at its Varkaus factory, around 30 positions at its Anjala facility and up to 25 jobs at its Ingerois mill.
The company did not disclose the split between white-collar and blue-collar workers that may be affected.
The spokesperson stressed that this program does not include any capacity reductions. "The actions planned include identifying process efficiencies in production units and services, and the potential to reduce and centralize mill administration tasks, and to simplify organization structures and reduce management layers," she said.
The Imatra complex, which comprises the Kaukopää and Tainionkoski mills, employs approximately 1,000 people. The mills have a combined capacity of more than 1 million tonnes/yr of cartonboard and specialty packaging paper. The Imatra research center employs about 120 workers.
The Oulu mill has a capacity of some 1.125 million tonnes/yr of coated woodfree paper and employs some 600 people. The Veitsiluoto mill can churn out just over 1 million tonnes/yr of uncoated woodfree (UWF) paper and coated mechanical paper. It employs around 750 workers. The Varkaus factory has a capacity of 285,000 tonnes/yr of UWF paper and employs some 260 people. The Anjala mill can make up to 435,000 tonnes/yr of book and uncoated mechanical paper, with a headcount of 370. The Ingerois facility has 230 employees and a capacity of 220,000 tonnes/yr of folding boxboard (FBB).
In Sweden, Stora Enso is starting talks with employee representatives at its Skoghall, Fors and Nymölla mills.
The company may cut up to 97 jobs at its Skoghall mill, of which 63 would be blue-collar positions, according to mill director Carl-Johan Albinsson. The factory has a total of 763 positions.
The measures are not supposed to have a negative affect on production volume, efficiency or quality, Albinsson said. Instead, the mill's operating efficiency and resource consumption will improve.
The Skoghall mill can make some 725,000 tonnes/yr of white-top kraftliner, FBB and liquid packaging board.
At its 400,000 tonne/yr Fors mill, which makes FBB, Stora Enso may axe up to 130 jobs, of which 80 would be blue-collar positions, according to managing director Cecilia Carter. The plant currently employs around 650 people.
"We will review how we operate and find new ways of working in order to maintain production, quality and operating rates," Carter said. The mill will also invest in increased automation of its sheeting machines.
Furthermore, Stora Enso plans to close the two customer service centers located at the Fors mill. The work of the center that oversees global cigarette packaging order booking will be moved to several other existing centers in Europe. The other center handles services related to graphic and general packaging board for customers in the Nordic and Baltic countries. These tasks will be assumed by Stora Enso's customer service center in the UK.
Finally, Stora Enso may cut up to 78 jobs at its Nymölla mill, of which 50 would be blue-collar workers, according to managing director Michael Lindemann. The plant currently employs some 600 people.
In order for this not to affect production, the factory will streamline its work process and invest in a fully automated reel packing machine next year.
The Nymölla mill has a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/yr of UWF paper.
Stora Enso has three other mills in Sweden: the 485,000 tonne/yr Hylte newsprint mill, the 750,000 tonne/yr Kvarnsveden uncoated mechanical paper mill and the 550,000 tonne/yr Skutskär pulp mill. There are currently no plans for further job cuts at these factories, according to mill representatives.