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Uponor closes two production units in Finland – layoffs smaller than anticipated

Uponor’s collaborative negotiations with its staff in Finland were concluded on 8 November and the company subsequently decided to close its production units in the towns of Ulvila and Forssa, southern Finland. The negotiations, which were restricted to the subsidiaries Uponor Suomi Oy and Uponor Infra Oy, resulted in the decision to reduce the workforce by 111 employees, compared to the earlier plan of 140 persons. The companies further decided that there would be no need for temporary layoffs or other similar measures at this point.

Uponor Infra Oy and Uponor Suomi Oy entered into collaborative negotiations on 27 September 2013, affecting their entire workforce, a total of 740 persons. At that time, the estimated need for personnel layoffs totalled 140 persons. In addition, temporary layoffs were considered as additional measures. With respect to Uponor Infra, the aim was to carry through structural changes following the establishment of the company in July 2013, as a result of the merger of the Uponor and KWH Pipe infrastructure businesses. With respect to Uponor Suomi, a supplier of building solutions, savings and efficiency improvements were sought in order to adjust operations to weakening domestic market demand. Both companies also targeted the reorganisation of their sales and marketing operations.

Both of the factory closures relate to Uponor Infra’s operations. It plans to relocate its manufacturing operations from Ulvila to the Nastola factory and from Forssa to the Vaasa facility. The Ulvila facility currently employs 65 persons and Forssa 26 persons. The relocations will be initiated without delay. Further, there will be smaller-scale changes and removals of overlaps within the Finnish sales and marketing, product management and supply chain functions. Combined, these personnel reductions will amount to 111 persons, of which Uponor Infra Oy represents 96 persons and Uponor Suomi Oy 15 persons.

These restructuring actions are estimated to cause a total of €5.0 million in non-recurring costs that mainly burden operating profit in the fourth quarter. These non-recurring items include costs related to the personnel reductions, manufacturing relocations as well as write-offs. The aim is to complete the restructuring by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

The manufacturing relocations are expected to open over 30 new positions in the factories in Vaasa and Nastola. These jobs will primarily be offered to the employees who are losing their jobs in the other locations. Uponor will support these persons in their relocations to new sites. In connection with the layoffs, employees will be informed of the publicly available support for such change situations. Over a period of a few months, Uponor will also offer training in job seeking to employees who are losing their jobs.

After the consolidation, in Finland Uponor Infra and Uponor Suomi will have pipe production in Vaasa and in Nastola, and smaller production units in Jyväskylä and Tuusula. Uponor Infra Oy is owned by Uponor Corporation (55.3 %) and KWH Group Ltd (44.7 %), while Uponor Suomi Oy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Uponor Corporation.

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