Metsä Group takes proactive measures to combat grey economy at its Kemi bioproduct mill

News - Published 1.3.2021

On 1 March, the management of Metsä Group and leaders of key trade unions met under the leadership of Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen to discuss the start of construction of the bioproduct plant in Kemi. Metsä Group has stated that it will require companies operating at the construction site to comply with Finnish legislation and collective agreements throughout the subcontracting chain. In addition, the company will immediately address any shortcomings discovered. Such measures will proactively combat the grey economy.

“Metsä Group has already had discussions with trade unions in order to ensure that the working conditions throughout the chain are appropriate, that proactive measures are taken to combat the shadow economy, and that occupational safety and health are taken into account comprehensively. I am very pleased with this constructive and active approach. Occupational safety and health issues are naturally more important than ever because of the ongoing coronavirus situation,” Minister Haatainen said.

“The employment impact of the plant construction is estimated to be 10,000 person-years and more than half of the work will take place in Kemi. The project’s domestic content will rise to a very high level. We expect our partners to commit to the objectives of the project in terms of security, compliance with employment legislation and working conditions, prevention of the grey economy, as well as timetable and quality of work. We welcome the open and good dialogue with Minister Haatainen and the trade unions,” Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre, said.

The trade union leaders thanked the company for its good preparation and proactive approach. For example, the subcontractors have been carefully selected and any problems at the site will be addressed immediately. Many at the event felt that the preparations for the construction of the mill were even better than in Äänekoski, where a similar plant was built in 2015–2017.

The roundtable discussion was organised to ensure that all parties have common information about the project and that the objectives will be achieved in the best possible way.

Metsä Group announced in February that it would build a bioproduct mill in Kemi for an estimated value of EUR 1.6 billion, the largest investment ever made by the forest industry in Finland.

Jenni Karjalainen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 40 751 5496

News from Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 1.3.2021