Helsinki (15.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) Intergraf, the European printing industry association, representing employers in this sector has sent a letter to UPM CEO Jussi Pesonen calling for an end to the strike at UPM paper mills.

The Brussels-based industry association says that while during the past two years graphic products have clearly witnessed a decline, demand is now almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

According to Intergraf, during the Covid pandemic many customers were forced to reduce print advertising and switch to electronic means in their communications. Now, customers are turning back to print, but the price of paper is going up and supply is uncertain right now.

Helsinki (14.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) After a long bout of shadow-boxing, negotiations for the forestry company UPM workers' collective agreement have begun. The National Conciliator has invited the parties to meet on 14 February.

The paper industry collective agreement expired at the end of December, but UPM did not want to begin to draft a new one unless its preconditions as to the form of the agreement are fully met.

The Finnish Electrical Workers' Union and the Paper Workers' Union had no other choice but to begin a strike at UPM mills and plants. The strike has now been going on since 1 January.

Helsinki (04.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) On 2 February, Service Union United PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation adopted a new collective agreement for the commerce sector.

It will mean an increase in wages, working hour bonuses and shop stewards’ compensation by 2 per cent as of 1 May 2022.

The collective agreement is valid from 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2024 and the pay rise for the second year will be negotiated before 15 December this year.

In collective agreements made earlier during this current round of negotiations other sectors have seen pay rises of between 1.8 and 2.0 per cent for this year. The PAM agreement thus hits the upper ceiling reached so far this year.

Helsinki (02.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) This round of collective agreements has shown that collective bargaining is still the best way to advance the goals of both sides, says the SAK Board. However, in the case of forestry giant UPM, we have a sad example of how ideology has been put before all other goals.

A large number of collective agreements were due to expire around the end of the year 2021. This round of collective bargaining is different than before, as the forest industry terminated all national level agreements and the technology industry handed over collective bargaining to a new national organisation.

In spite of widely expected major difficulties in the labour market, the negotiation round has been running better than expected. The Board of SAK, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions, is happy about this.

Helsinki (28.01.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) The number of employed people was 128,000 higher in December 2021 than one year before, according to the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Finland. And the number of unemployed persons was 16,000 fewer in December than a year ago.

The Government of PM Sanna Marin has a goal to reach a 75 per cent employment rate by the end of 2023. This goal is getting closer to being realised, as the trend of the employment rate was 73.5 per cent in December and the trend of the unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent.

The number of unemployed went down by 7.9 per cent in a year but as at the same time the number of inactive population went down 8.1 per cent, the unemployment rate did not fall very much.

Helsinki (27.01.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) The forestry giant UPM still shows no willingness to find a way towards an agreement with the trade unions. For UPM leaders, ideology and the wish to crush the unions is foremost amongst its policy goals.

UPM adamantly refuses to negotiate a collective agreement for salaried employees and will only begin to negotiate on collective agreements for workers in its paper and pulp mills if the unions accept its preconditions as to the form of the agreement.

The company just simply refused to negotiate on the basis of the more than 30 other collective agreements the Paper Workers' Union had already agreed upon with other companies in the branch, including Stora Enso and the Metsä Group. UPM did not even bother to give their own proposal to the union.

Helsinki (18.01.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) A pay deal at the last minute has stopped a planned strike by the salaried employees in the technology industry from going ahead. The new collective agreement will raise pay by 1.9 per cent this year.

The agreement is for two years, but the pay rise now agreed will only be for the first year. The second year will be negotiated at a later date.

Negotiations with the new employers' association Technology Industry Employers of Finland did not succeed initially, and Trade Union Pro issued a strike warning for the period between 14 January and 23 January.

Helsinki (13.01.2022 – Heikki Jokinen) The new collective agreement for the technology industry will raise pay by 2 per cent in 2022. On January 7, The Executive Committee of the Industrial Union adopted the agreement by 20 votes to 8.

When approving the agreement, the union cancelled all planned industrial action in the technology industry. It had given a strike warning just a few days before the deal was struck.

The general pay rise for all will be 1.5 per cent and a locally agreed component of 0.5 per cent. The deal is valid until 30 of November 2023, but it can be terminated by 30 November 2022 if the parties do not reach agreement on a pay for 2023 before that.

Helsinki (20.12.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) The forestry giant UPM crusade against collective bargaining escalates: it promises to pay 30 euro extra per day to all employees who will work as strikebreakers.

Almost all Finnish forestry companies have now agreed with the trade unions upon collective agreements for the next few years. Among them are the two other major companies Stora Enso and Metsä Group.

But UPM is a notable exception: it says it will not make any kind of collective agreement for salaried employees and it will only begin to negotiate on collective agreements for workers in its paper and pulp mills if the unions fully accept its preconditions as to the form of the agreement.

Helsinki (16.12.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) Antti Palola will continue as the President of STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals. He has been the President since 2013.

Before STTK Antti Palola (62) was 2005 - 2013 President of the Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia which represented salaried employees working mostly in the state and public sector. In 2019, Pardia merged with the Trade Union Pro.

By profession Palola is a sea captain. In his earlier career prior to Pardia he was working among other things on ships, in the Finnish Ship's Officers' Union and as a teacher in naval schools.