SOURCE: Stora Enso Oyj

November 07, 2007 09:48 ET

Stora Enso announces support actions for employees affected by the planned restructuring measures in Finland

Stora Enso Oyj News Release November 7, 2007 at 14.30 GMT

HELSINKI, FINLAND--(Marketwire - November 7, 2007) - Stora Enso Oyj News Release November 7, 2007 at 14.30 GMT


HELSINKI, Finland - Stora Enso (NYSE: SEO) today announced that it has launched actions, in close co-operation with the local employment and business centres and the Finnish government, to support the employees affected by the planned restructuring measures in Finland announced on 25 October 2007. The planned actions described below, which includes financial and other resource support for re-employment, retraining and relocation, as well as start-up assistance for new businesses, is being proposed as part of the codetermination negotiations at Kymenlaakso and Kemijärvi.

"We said in our press release of 25 October announcing the planned mill closures and staff reductions that Stora Enso will together with the local authorities, proactively, and beyond the requirements of the applicable labour laws, help the affected employees to find alternative employment in existing and potential new businesses. Whereas financial support has all along been part of the restructuring plan, we believe announcing individual financial sums before the co-determination negotiations would not be in the best interest of our employees, so we wanted the local representatives of our employees to be the first to hear our actual, concrete proposals. We have worked collaboratively with the government representatives and local employment authorities since 25 October in order to maximise the benefit of these support actions on affected employees and their families. The proposed actions includes the most important steps we have identified to help our employees through this difficult process of change," says Aulis Ansaharju, Country Manager Finland and EVP Fine Paper.

Stora Enso will assist in the development of ideas for new businesses and new jobs in Kymenlaakso and Kemijärvi. Stora Enso will also financially support temporary projects undertaken jointly with local employment and economic development centres and municipalities.

Stora Enso has today committed EUR 5 million for the actions in Kemijarvi and Kymenlaakso to support the programme already announced by the Finnish government.

Stora Enso will use its internal job market to help employees willing and able to relocate to find alternative employment within the Group. For employees made redundant, Stora Enso will also extend the period for offering re-employment from the legally obligatory nine months to twenty-four months.

Stora Enso also plans to offer the following: - Stora Enso will help and financially support retraining of redundant employees to enable them to find alternative employment. - Stora Enso will assist in the creation of new businesses. Some early ideas have been raised; announcements will be made when real agreements with the creation of new jobs have been reached - Stora Enso will pay reasonable relocation expenses during the obligatory re-employment period and pay one month's salary to cover resettlement expenses. - If an employee finds a new job during the term of notice, Stora Enso will enable the employee to start the new job as soon as possible, and continue to pay the employee's salary until the end of the term of notice. - occupational health care: o Any treatments in progress will be completed and retiring or redundant personnel can utilise Stora Enso's occupational health care services for one year after their employment ends. o Redundant personnel can if required take a medical test before leaving the company at Stora Enso's expense.

Stora Enso is also preparing corresponding actions, adapted to local practices, to support employees in other affected countries. Further updates on progress of supporting our employees affected will be given in due course.

For further information, please contact: Tim Laatsch, Senior Vice President, Communications, Stora Enso North America, tel. 715 422 4023

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