Paper and forestry company Stora Ensa says it has started negotiations to axe up to 400 jobs out of 600 at its Oulu mill.
In a statement, the company says it plans to convert the mill into a packaging board production plant, and close the paper and sheeting production line completely.
Last summer the Finnish-Swedish company had said it would need to look at the Oulu mill’s operational feasibility, as there had been a drop in global demand for the type of paper made at the facility.
Although Stora Enso will likely invest €350 million in new equipment to add production capability for a new type of cardboard, the plant will need fewer workers in future. The amount of investment is half of what they had initially indicated for the mill.
Negotiations on redundancies are expected to last for six weeks, with the job cuts and new expenditure on equipment at the plant set to be completed in 2020.
Reaction to job cuts announcement
Oulu Member of Parliament Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) called the announcement “shocking news”.
She said although there would be big investment in the paper mill, which was opened in 1935, it would come at the expense of up to 400 jobs.
“Now the good news included a hard blow” she wrote on Facebook.
“A €700 million investment plan has shrunk to half, and brings big layoffs”.
The politician reminds Stora Enso that the company is responsible for all those people they make redundant, and appeals for the company to take “social responsibility” for the workers who lose their jobs.