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UPDATE 1-Strike at UPM's Finnish mills extended to April

(Adds details, background)

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Finnish paper workers said on Thursday they would extend a strike at forestry group UPM’s plants until April 2 unless a new collective labour agreement was reached before that date.

Employees of UPM’s paper, pulp and biofuels plants have been on strike since Jan. 1 after the company and its main union failed to agree terms on a new collective agreement.

The strike was initially planned to last until Jan. 22, but UPM and the union - which represents around 2,200 workers - have repeatedly said their views on a new agreement are still very different.

After quitting collective bargaining along with other forestry companies in October 2020, UPM has pushed for separate agreements for each of its businesses.

Inderes analyst Antti Viljakainen told Reuters last month the strike would hit UPM’s operating profit by between 15 million and 20 million euros ($16.7-22.3 million) a week.

$1 = 0.8960 euros Reporting by Essi Lehto Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter

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