HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — About 2,500 personnel walked out Thursday at Stora Enso plants in Finland to protest layoffs and mill closures, union officials said.
The protest, planned to last until Saturday, was in response to the Finnish-Swedish paper maker's confirmation earlier in the day that it will shut down three mills in Finland and lay off up to 985 people.
In October, Stora Enso Oyj said it would lay off some 1,700 workers in Finland and Sweden, cut production and slash more than a third of its administrative staff worldwide. Total annual savings should amount to some 160 million euros ($230 million) by 2009, the company said.
Helsinki-based Stora Enso, one of the world's largest forest product companies, employs some 12,000 people in Finland and has 44,000 employees in more than 40 countries. The group was formed in a 1998 merger between Finland's Enso and Stora of Sweden.