Swedish forestry firm cuts 2,500 jobs

Forestry giant Stora Enso plans to let another 2,500 employees go, of whom 750 work in Sweden, citing weak markets and deflating profits.

Swedish forestry firm cuts 2,500 jobs

The cuts should reduce the company’s outlays by €200 million per year, a saving which includes previously highlighted plans to save on operating costs.

The new move to axe personnel affects 750 jobs in Sweden, where the consortium employs about 5,900 people. The jobs will be cut mostly from administration, and other service professions, rather than in the production line.

About 650 people face losing their jobs in Finland. A further 850 staff members will have to go across Europe, with the remainder to be made redundant in other markets.

Stora Enso underscored that all offices were being hit by savings.

“It will take place from headquarters down to all units. It is very sad news, but it is necessary,” Sweden head Mats Nordlander told the TT news agency.

“We have to find better and smarter ways to work”.

Stora Enso earlier this year announced it would shut down the Swedish factory sites Hylte Bruk and Kvarnsveden, a moved that lobbed off several hundred of jobs in Sweden

CEO Jouko Karvinen said in a statement that the cuts were inevitable.

“We have to react to the weak European economy, structurally shrinking markets in some of our areas, and our low profitability,” Karvinen said.

“We have to face reality and then try to help the employees who are affected by the plans in a responsible way.”

At the same time, it was not all bad news for staff tied to the company. Stora Enso is investing €32 million at the Skoghalls plant, plus planning a renovation of a factory in Finland.

“We have to speed up and hit the brakes at the same time to stay competitive,” Nordlander said.

TT/The Local/

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Newspapers purge one in four reporters

A quarter of journalists in southern Sweden have been made redundant in the past three years, with observers warning the workload and stress could take its toll on newspapers' quality.

Newspapers purge one in four reporters

Some 150 journalists working for newspapers in Skåne have faced the sack due to budget cuts in the past three years, the News Öresund news service reported on Wednesday.

“It affects the climate in the newsroom. It’s not a positive mood and people are worried both about the company’s future and the future of media,” said Torbjörn Wester, union spokesman at the newspaper Skånska Dagbladet, which has cut 15 percent of its editorial staff.

“It also affects the journalism.”

By the end of 2013, the big regional newspaper Sydsvenskan will have axed 29 percent of its journalists, while Helsingborgs Dagblad has asked 31 percent to leave. A handful of smaller papers in the region have all cut their editorial staff by around 14 percent.

“We’re in the middle of a structural change, with readers moving from paper to digital products,” said Per Hultengård, CEO of Tidningsutgivarna which represents newspaper publishers in Sweden.

The Swedish Journalism Union (SJF) said the change could affect the entire Öresund Region, but added the numbers did not show the transfer of jobs from permanent employment to contract-based jobs or freelance positions.

“A lot of the work has been outsourced to freelancers and to temporary staffing agencies,” union head Jonas Nordling commented.

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