Metso is starting negotiations to reduce the workforce in its units in Finland which serve the paper and pulp industry. The company says that it expects the reduction to affect between 900 and 1,200 out of the 4,700 employees who work in the units affected, and that it will also consider reducing the number of units and their consolidation into bigger units. The move comes in response to what is seen as a permanent decrease in demand for machinery and equipment in the pulp and paper industry which has been exacerbated by the current global economic crisis.
Both Metso’s Paper business line’s and the Automation business line’s Process Automation Systems unit will be affected by the cuts, since more than half of the Process Automation Systems unit’s orders come from the pulp and paper industry. Process Automation Systems is expected to lose between 90 and 130 jobs, although the company will look at the possibility of achieving the reductions through temporary layoffs of a larger number of employees. Process Automation Systems has 18 sites in Finland, with a total of just over 830 people, the biggest sites being at Tampere and Kajaani. The moves are expected to reduce Metso’s costs by between Euro 40 million and 50 million annually. Metso is also planning workforce reductions at its fibre machinery business at Proi in Finland and its tissue technology business in Karlstad, Sweden.