HELSINKI (AP) -- Some 600 workers shut down a pulp and paper mill in southern Finland on Wednesday to protest UPM-Kymmene Corp.'s plans to lay off 200 workers.
The three-day strike at the Kymi mill began a day after the paper maker said it will ax 100 jobs at the plant and another 100 at its Kaukas mill in southeastern Finland, in a drive to improve efficiency.
The announcement of the job cuts came a month after UPM said it will lay off 850 people in the plywood sector and at sawmills in Finland. Last year, UPM announced major production cuts and warned that it will close plants and slash some 1,600 jobs worldwide during 2009 and 2010.
Like other paper makers in the global downturn, UPM has been plagued by tough competition, overcapacity and weakening demand.
Earlier this month, UPM reported a fourth-quarter net profit of euro295 million ($410 million) -- up from a loss in the period in 2008 -- and said it expects a slight improvement in the industry.
Helsinki-based UPM-Kymmene, one of Europe's largest forest products companies, has 64 plants in 15 countries with 170 sales and distribution companies worldwide. It employs 23,000 people.