22 Dec 2004

Norske Skog - Unique union/management cooperation deal

Norske Skog has taken an important step forward in formalising a world-wide collaboration agreement between management and employees in the company by establishing a Global Employee Forum (GEF). Due to be signed today by chief executive Jan Oksum and chief shop steward Kåre Leira, this agreement represents the first world-wide agreement of its kind in pulp and paper industry.

"I'm pleased that we've come this far in our efforts to create a positive climate of collaboration  in Norske Skog," says Mr Oksum.
"This agreement provides an arena where union representatives from all our mills can have a direct dialogue with corporate management.
"That will allow them to express their views and get  the information they need about the company's development and strategic choices."
The GEF will also help employee representatives  in Norske Skog to develop personal  relationships, and thereby contribute to greater openness and cooperation  between units and regions.
Management and employee representatives in Norske Skog emphasise that such a forum cannot replace daily involvement and collaboration with employees and their representatives at each mill.
The agreement will support  such cooperation, and one aim of the GEF is to encourage further development of day-to-day collaboration.
Meetings in the GEF will take place in connection  with the annual top management meeting in Norske Skog. This will allow more of the company's employee representatives  to participate in this meeting , where many important and  strategic issues are discussed, and thereby gain a better understanding of how other parts of the company operate.
"I'm proud that a Norwegian company is bringing  Norway's model for collabortaion between management and employees out into the world," says Mr Leira.
"We've reached a milestone in Norske Skog's in-house collaboration. This will give us a common platform for pursuing our important work on behalf of all employees world-wide.
"For us employee representatives, the global cooperation agreement represents a natural development of the collaboration structure we have in Norske Skog.
 "That gives both management and employee representatives a unique opportunity at global level to inform, discuss and exchange experience in most areas where we have common interests. These include strategy, production, manning, health and safety, and environmental issues."
Mr Leira believes that the agreement will give the company a long-term competitive advantage, which will in turn secure jobs and contribute to the owners.
(Photo of Kåre Leira and Jan Oksum from todays signing is attached. (Kåre Leira to the left.) Photo: Norske Skog)

Oxenøen, 22  December 2004
Norske Skog
Corporate Communication

For further information:
Senior Vice President Communication Hanne Aaberg Phone: +47 67 59 90 29/+47 913 51 681
HR Manager Axel Thuve    Phone: +47 67 59 93 57/+47 976 72 796
Chief Shop Steward Kåre Leira    Phone: +47 67 59 81 63/ +47 970 78 603


Kåre Leira og Jan Oksum