UPM Plywood starts a competitiveness improvement program at its Finnish birch plywood mills

​(UPM Plywood, Lahti, Finland, 7 October, 2015 at 09:30 EET) – UPM Plywood starts a program to improve the cost-competitiveness of its Finnish birch plywood mills. Central plans of the program are to increase Savonlinna plywood mill’s production volume by adding new shifts and to re-organise and rationalize Jyväskylä plywood mill’s production along with outsourcing of mill cleaning. In addition, staffing at Joensuu plywood mill will be strengthen to open production and maintenance bottlenecks.

Savonlinna plywood mill will move to six day production week from current five days. In order to facilitate the change, the mill starts recruiting of about 40 persons through the mill’s apprenticeship program. Joensuu plywood mill has moved to the six day production week already earlier but production bottlenecks require still some additional personnel. Operations at Jyväskylä plywood mill are planned to be improved through production tasks’ re-organisation and outsourcing of mill cleaning. The re-organisation and outsourcing is estimated to results in about 30 redundancies in Jyväskylä. The persons who may lose their job at Jyväskylä will be offered re-location to Savonlinna or Joensuu if possible.

”Our Finnish birch plywood mills have suffered from poor profitability already for a long time. High labour costs are a remarkable challenge in labour intensive operations. Especially the Jyväskylä mill has made losses despite the good market demand,” says Mika Kekki, Production & Operations Vice President at UPM Plywood.

”Higher production volumes at Savonlinna and Joensuu reduce the unit costs, contributing to profitability. The Jyväskylä mill has implemented several efficiency improvement investments on course of the past years. Those alone have not been sufficient to secure competitiveness and we have to turn to re-organization and outsourcing to address the issue and to secure the future of the mill,” he continues.

Employee negotiations regarding the re-organization and outsourcing will start in Jyväskylä on 14 October, 2015. The negotiations are estimated to be concluded by the end of the year. Recruiting in Savonlinna and Joensuu will start as soon as possible and are estimated to be completed by the end of January 2016 depending on progress of the negotiations in Jyväskylä.

For more information, please contact:
Mika Kekki, Vice President, Production, UPM Plywood, tel. +358 40 545 5803
Tero Hannonen, Mill Director, UPM Jyväskylä plywood mill, tel. +358 40 771 7408
Juhani Tenhunen, Mill Director, UPM Savonlinna plywood mill, tel. +358 400 728 824
Kimmo Wilska, Mill Director, UPM Joensuu plywood mill, tel. +358 400 491 566

UPM, Media Relations
Tel. +358 (0)40 588 3284
Mon-Fri from 9:00 to 16:00
media@upm.com

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UPM Plywood manufactures high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products mainly for construction and transport industries and the new thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material for the form pressing industry. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2014 were EUR 440 million and it has about 2,300 employees. UPM Plywood has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. www.wisaplywood.com, www.upmgrada.com

UPM Jyväskylä plywood mill manufactures standard uncoated and coated plywood products and special products. The mill manufactures also the thermo-formable UPM Grada wood material. The mill uses both birch and spruce as raw material. Products manufactured in Jyväskylä are used mainly in construction, form working and vehicles. UPNM Grada is used mainly in furniture and interiors. Jyväskylä plywood mill employs about 240 persons and the mill’s production capacity is 100,000 cubic meters per annum.

UPM Savonlinna plywood mill manufactures birch plywood mainly for vehicles, form working and other industrial end-uses. The mill manufactures also maxi size plywood panels. Savonlinna mill employs about 260 persons and the mill’s production capacity is 100,000 cubic meters per annum.

UPM Joensuu plywood mill manufactures further processed birch plywood mainly for vehicles, LNG ship building and construction. In addition, plywood products manufactured in Joensuu are used for example in packaging, die-cutting and furniture industries. Joensuu mill employs about 160 persons and the mill’s production capacity is 55,000 cubic meters per annum.

UPM
Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 20,000 people and its annual sales are approximately EUR 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com