Solutions found for 454 UPM Voikkaa employees before salary payments end

(UPM, Helsinki, December 11, 2006) – To date, 380 employees from UPM's Voikkaa paper mill have found a new work place or entered into vocational training when 74 employees have joined the retirement scheme. The mill employed a total of 678 persons. UPM will continue the support programme to relieve the impacts of the mill closure.

"UPM will cooperate with employment authorities and a private recruitment agency in order to find a job for some 230 employees. Tasks related to the mill shutdown ended in November. The salary earning ended on 10th December 2006, and the last salary will be paid later in December 2006", tells Product Unit Director Aki Kohonen.

So far, over 90 employees have found new positions within UPM, mainly in Finland, but also in Canada, UK, China and Germany. More than 170 have been employed outside the company. UPM is paying entrepreneurial start-up support to ten applicants, and 60 employees are in vocational retraining. In addition, around 60 employees will stay on at Voikkaa until the end of 2007. Their duties will include property maintenance and dismantling of paper machines.

UPM has signed a letter of intent with Ewica Laboratoriot Oy that is aiming to start up a laboratory business at Voikkaa premises. According to the contract, Ewica will give retraining for eight former Voikkaa employees. Empower Oy has hired 60 Voikkaa employees for its new unit offering forest industry maintenance services based at the mill site since September. Storage services company Kouvola Cargo Handling, also operating from the mill site, has hired 15 Voikkaa employees.

In addition, UPM has made a contract to rent Voikkaa Club premises to a new business starting from the beginning of January. UPM is currently negotiating with various other companies planning to set up business at the mill site.

UPM is considering to open an exhibition room at the Voikkaa fire station premises to present the history, production and personnel working on the mill from 1897 to 2006. The intention is to demonstrate work life and the development of professional skills by objects, photos and other material collected within the decades. The room would be open for the former employees as well as other visitors.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Aki Kohonen, Production Unit Director, UPM, Voikkaa, tel. +358 204 153 291