Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski started up on 15 August 2017. The project was completed according to the original schedule. During the mill project, between May 2015 and August 2017, more than 13,500 people in total worked at the construction site. The number of employees was highest at the turn of 2016 and 2017, with a total of 3,300 people working at the site on the busiest days.
Finns represented 64 per cent of the project workforce, with foreign employees constituting the remaining 36 per cent. After Finns, the largest groups came from Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Croatia and Slovakia. All in all, the employees represented 54 different nationalities. The highest number of nationalities present on the site at the same time was 30.
Finns represented 64 per cent of the project workforce.
The construction of the bioproduct mill was implemented through client-driven subcontracting, meaning that the construction project and various contracts were divided into smaller parts. This enabled local and small companies to take part. Around 650 contractors were working at the construction site each day. During the project, more than 1,500 companies worked at the construction site, with Finnish businesses representing 89 per cent of the total. The bioproduct mill project also employed local people: more than 2,200 people from Central Finland from more than 340 local companies worked on the site during the project. Overall, the degree of Finnish origin for the entire bioproduct mill project is high: more than 70 per cent.
Compliance with the law and collective agreements was monitored closely
Metsä Fibre, which is part of Metsä Group, required compliance with the law and collective agreements throughout the subcontracting chain. Any shortcomings were addressed immediately. For example, compliance with the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out was monitored very closely. All contractors were required to prove their compliance before their employees were granted work permits. Metsä Fibre monitored compliance with the terms of employment, and regulations related to the use of labour were reviewed with the subcontractors on a regular basis. In addition, these issues and the related measures were examined with the site’s chief shop steward weekly. Any companies that failed to comply with the law or collective agreements were prohibited from working on the site.
Metsä Fibre required compliance with the law and collective agreements throughout the subcontracting chain.
A project management system was used to provide accurate, up-to-date information about the contractors present on the construction site, as well as the number of people present and their nationalities. The system was also used to provide the Finnish Tax Administration with the statutory employee information every month, and the information was stored for the Regional State Administrative Agency, among other parties.
The project was implemented in close cooperation with the authorities and representatives of trade unions. The Regional State Administrative Agency, for example, performed statutory audits on the site on a regular basis. With regard to Metsä Fibre, no shortcomings were detected during the inspections related to contractors’ obligations and audits related to the use of foreign labour.