Improving the Efficiency of European Works Councils and Social Dialogue in the European Tissue Paper Sector

The tissue paper sector in Europe is dominated by a handful of large multinational companies, including Kimberly Clark, SCA, Sofidel, WEPA, Tronchetti and Lucart, 6 companies which alone control 70 – 80% of the European market. The European tissue paper sector came through the economic and financial crisis virtually unscathed. Today, the sector is doing rather well and is expected to continue expanding its market in the coming ten years.

While the sector has strong growth prospects in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, growth in Western Europe is expected to be moderate.
Since the early 2010s, the sector has been through a wave of consolidation and restructuring in Europe, as witnessed by SCA, which in 2011 acquired from Georgia Pacific the latter’s tissue paper brands (in 2011) and its European division (in 2012). This acquisition led to restructuring measures being taken, with plants closed in France, England and Spain. Sofidel is a further example. It acquired the UK company, NTG Mill, in 2013 and entered the Hungarian market after acquiring Forest Papir in 2016.

Given that this wave of consolidation and restructuring in the sector can be expected to continue in the coming years, it was considered urgent and important for UNI Europa Graphical&Packaging to call a meeting of key union representatives from the sector to help better understand sector developments, to analyse the consequences thereof – especially with regard to their social impact – and to define European union responses aimed at developing a sustainable and socially responsible European tissue paper sector.

The report is available in English below and in Croatian, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish and Italian.

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