Helsinki (15.06.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) Two Finnish trade unions are to amalgamate. Trade Union Pro and the Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia signed a letter of intent in mid June concerning the amalgamation.

Trade Union Pro with its 110,000 members is the largest private sector union for clerical employees, experts, supervisory and managerial staff. It has a strong presence in industry, finance, ICT, communications and the service industries.

The Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia has 30,000 members working both in the state and private sectors. Most work in governmental offices and institutions, and some work in public utility companies and enterprises, universities and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

Both unions are members of the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK.

These two unions have been in negotiations for some years on seeking ways at closer cooperation. According to the plan Pardia’s member associations will join the Trade Union Pro during the autumn. Membership in Pro will start from the beginning of the year 2019.

"Through this merger, we’re seeking to strengthen our contractual and bargaining power and our social impact in both public and private agreement sectors. Merging will improve the individual services available to our members. Student members will also obtain extensive paths from study to employment as members of the same union,” says Pro’s President Jorma Malinen.

"The world is changing, so are we", Malinen says and adds that both employer associations and trade unions are moving towards bigger units. "This is the reply of Pro and Pardia to this development."

Niko Simola, President of Pardia stresses that a trade union does not exist for the sake of organisations, but for its members. "This merger seeks to provide better protection for our members’ interests, and the merger of a private-sector and a public-sector union will take this protection to a new level", he adds.

To amalgamate two trade union is no easy task, Pro President Jorma Malinen realises. He is happy that the unions are fully engaged in moving forward the process towards a new union.

"The letter of intent is an expression of goodwill. To make this happen there is still a lot of work to be done in working groups during the autumn."