Helsinki (27.11.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) The Service Union United PAM - which widely represents the service sector - has been in negotiations on the collective agreement for ski resorts and activity programmes like reindeer, snowmobile and husky safaris. These are all major business concerns in northern Finland.
But the employers simply walked away from the negotiation table and announced a lockout for the branch from 8 - 19 December. The lockout, it should be noted, only affects PAM members.
PAM President Ann Selin cannot understand the actions of the hospitality industry employers' association MaRa. She had hoped negotiations would be conducted in a spirit of reasonableness, but the employers announced a lockout before negotiations on pay rises had hardly even begun.
"It is incomprehensible that employers are willing to endanger growth in the tourism sector by announcing a lockout. Announcing a lockout will not improve the negotiating situation, it will make it more difficult. We consider restricting the lockout to PAM members to be a discriminatory action that falls foul of the Non-discrimination Act", Selin states.
The only reason the negotiations came to an abrupt end was that the parties disagreed over the level of the pay rise, says PAM Collective Bargaining Director, Jaana Ylitalo.
The National Conciliator Minna Helle has invited the parties to begin conciliation on Tuesday 28 November.
Most of the unions are now in the middle of a collective bargaining process. Some collective agreements have been signed and some conflicts have been resolved. Most agreements are, however, still open and more conflicts are possible.
There are some 300 collective agreements in Finland. The collective agreements agreed and signed to date are mainly in industry and the private sector.