Trade Union News from Finland
Trade Union News from Finland archive from 15 August 1997 to 28 May 2013 at Juhani Artto's archive
Helsinki (13.04.2003 - Juhani Artto) Present and former trade union members form a clear majority of the new Finnish Parliament elected in mid-March. Of the 200 seats, at least 120 were won by candidates who are either present or former members of unions. This is roughly the same proportion of trade union representation as in the March 1999 election result.
The preponderance of MPs with a union background is hardly surprising, as the organising rate in Finland is among the highest in the world. Another reason behind the electoral success of unionised candidates is the strong support given by national unions and their local branches to their own members.
The smallest of the three main labour confederations, Akava, which mainly organises the academically qualified, has the largest representation in Parliament. According to Akava, at least one third of the new MPs are present or former members of its affiliated unions. 28 of these were teachers before entering politics. Other academic trades with sizeable representation are doctors, lawyers and technical specialists.