Neste’s employees have called off their plans to suspend fuel distribution at the state-owned petroleum company’s refineries in Porvoo and Naantali, after being promised a meeting with the minister responsible for ownership steering, Mika Lintilä (Centre).
“The personnel groups never wanted to harm the company or to cause trouble to the customers,” stressed Sami Ryynänen, the chief shop steward at the refinery in Porvoo.
He reveals that the employees were informed of the possibility to discuss their concerns about the current ownership steering policy with Lintilä on Wednesday. The meeting has tentatively been scheduled for next week.
Neste employees to suspend fuel distribution for a week (21 June, 2017)
The employees announced earlier this week they would suspend fuel distribution at the two refineries between 26 June and 2 July, 2017, in protest of a legislative amendment that allows the government to trim its stake in Neste from 50.1 to 33.4 per cent.
Ryynänen reminds that if the employees are not satisfied with the outcomes of the meeting they are prepared to re-consider taking action to call attention to their concerns about the recent revisions to the ownership steering policy.
Neste on Wednesday declared its delight with the decision to call off the protest.
“We are relieved and very happy for our customers, and naturally for our own business, that the suspension of deliveries will not take place,” Hannele Jakosuo-Jansson, the director of human resources and safety at Neste, said in a press release.
A number of policy-makers commented on the planned protest on Tuesday. Lintilä expressed his disapproval with the threat and pointed out the decision to approve the legislative amendment, similarly to any other decision by the Finnish Parliament, will have no effect on the status of the employees or the operations of Neste.
One of his predecessors, Sirpa Paatero (SDP), was more appreciative of the concerns of the employees.
The Finnish government, she estimated, should refrain from relinquishing majority stakes in companies of strategic importance, such as Neste, and commit to developing such companies on a long-term basis.
“We also have to keep in mind that in Neste’s case we’re also talking about a company that’s extremely important strategically and for guaranteeing our energy security,” she said according to Verkkouutiset.
Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.