Helsinki (27.09.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) Exactly 20 years ago, in August 1997, the Finnish journalist Juhani Artto started up a new news service Trade Union News from Finland. Ever since then it has been publishing hundreds of news items in English, with a particular focus on the Finnish trade union movement and working life issues.
The service is currently being supported by all three Finnish trade union confederations, nine of their member unions and one union which is not a member of any confederation.
Their financial support has enabled the Trade Union News from Finland to continue publishing for all of these 20 years.
These confederations and unions often include our news features on their own web pages, offer links to this news, share it with their international umbrella organisations or mail it to their international contacts.
The service is conducted in accordance with strict journalistic criteria, by professional journalists, and it is editorially independent of the unions. Since May 2013 the publisher has been another Finnish journalist Heikki Jokinen.
And before any release the language is checked and edited by a native English speaker, Joe O'Reilly who has worked as an English language trainer in Finland since 1985.
Both Artto and Jokinen have long been active in their own union, the Union of Journalists in Finland. Artto is a former union board member and Jokinen is now the Vice President of the union board.
"20 years ago, when founding the publication, I had a gut feeling that there were many interesting features concerning working life in Finland and the Finnish trade union movement which might be of international interest. The continued world-wide interest in the news and stories of the Trade Union News from Finland proves the validity of this original idea", says Juhani Artto.
"I am very happy that the present editor of the publication Heikki Jokinen has been able, after my retirement, to further develop its content and enlarge its readership."
Continuous international attention
The independent journalistic approach guarantees a wide reception for the news that is being published.
"I can often see references to our news in the newsletters of various regional or global trade unions and in many international news pages. There are also often requests for permission to translate the news. I have seen our news appear for instance in German, French, Spanish and Hebrew", Jokinen says.
As the news is also published on their own web pages it serves to form a broad archive of Finnish trade union work and Finnish labour market issues in a language that is a bit more globally feasible than Finnish. The news is also published on the Labourstart web page.
Heikki Jokinen has been giving interviews to researchers from countries like Singapore, Britain, USA and Germany and been replying to many requests for information from various continents.
"A very nice thing to see is that even the older news on my web page is getting more and more visits all the time. This indicates that Trade Union News from Finland is a kind of internationally available archive for information on the Finnish trade union movement", Jokinen says.
Trade Union News from Finland is also mailed directly to a number of national and international trade union organisations, union leaders, union employees and activists. Anyone interested in our service can subscribe to it and receive the news by e-mail.