Unions from around the world gathered in Stockholm for the first in-person meeting of the IndustriALL Global Union work group for the pulp and paper sector since 2019. Key points from the meeting included:
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry varied by country. In Brazil, workers faced difficult conditions, but all pulp and paper plants remained open. In Japan, the industry is recovering to pre-pandemic levels, while in Sweden, the pandemic was profitable as products like tissue and toilet paper were in high demand.
- Indonesian unions faced challenges with delayed salary increases and opposition to the Omnibus law, which affected sectoral minimum wages and outsourcing.
- Unions highlighted the importance of health and safety, especially as businesses aim to cut costs. The focus is on maintaining workers' rights and conditions.
- The 3R campaign, promoting health and safety rights for workers, was discussed, including the right to know about hazards, the right to refuse unsafe work, and the right to participate in health and safety decision-making.
- Challenges and successes in ensuring women's participation in the pulp and paper sector were shared. Efforts are being made to increase the number of women in the industry and address issues like domestic violence in collective agreements.
- The meeting emphasized the importance of unions in creating better working conditions and praised the role of strong unions in improving countries.
- Participants also assessed the progress of a global framework agreement signed in 2018 that safeguards workers' rights across Essity's global supply chain.
IndustriALL report the meeting has energized the work group to continue advocating for a safe and sustainable pulp and paper industry.