Helsinki (17.06.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Government is planning to extend the obligatory use of personal taxation numbers to those working in the shipyards. On commencement of work, those employed there should have their own personal taxation numbers.

Since 2012, similar personal taxation numbers have been mandatory for those working on construction sites. This has been successful in curbing the grey economy and wage dumping.

All personal taxation numbers are published in the public register. This makes it easier to ensure that all employees are registered as taxpayers before the work begins.

Helsinki (12.06.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals is quite alarmed by the views being expressed right now which are reminiscent of the 1990s when the goal was to make wage and salary earners poorer and the trade union movement weaker.

Using the corona exit as a pretext, vigorous moves are being put forward that have nothing to do with how to survive the crisis, says STTK President Antti Palola.

Helsinki (29.05.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) All parties to the local government collective agreement accepted the deal on Thursday 28 May. The long and difficult negotiation marathon has finally reached an outcome with a new agreement in place.

"Compared with the earlier proposal made by the National Conciliator we were able to get higher pay rises, and earlier dropping of the unpaid working hours", says Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of the JHL - The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors.

By unpaid work she refers to the annual 24 unpaid extra working hours when the then Government effectively coerced the unions into accepting this and became part of almost all collective agreements in 2016. With the new deal this will end on 30 August 2020.

Helsinki (15.05.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland have two candidates standing in the race for next President. Elections will take place in August 2020.

The incumbent President Sture Fjäder is one of the candidates. So far, at least two major Akava unions, the Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ and the Finnish Business School Graduates have said they are ready to back him.

And two other Akava member unions, Social Science Professionals YKA and the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers have nominated Maria Teikari as a candidate.

Helsinki (08.05.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The latest attempt to reach a deal in the local government collective agreement failed. Just before 1 May, two unions turned down the proposal put forward by the National Conciliator, whereas other unions involved would have accepted it.

Collective bargaining concerning local government began back in January and the existing agreements expired at the end of March. The agreement covers 420,000 local government employees.

The unions that rejected the proposal were Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland and Super - the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses.

Helsinki (05.05.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish state owned alcoholic beverages retail monopoly Alko has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Service Union United PAM and the global union IUF to promote respect for worker rights in the company's international supply chain.

This includes workers' rights to form unions and negotiate their working conditions through collective bargaining. The focus is especially centred around the production of grapes.

In this Memorandum Alko, PAM and IUT agree to exchange information on working conditions in the alcoholic beverages supply chain and to meet four times a year.

Helsinki (24.4.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The long time court case between the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union and Polish company Elektrobudowa SA ended in March with an out-of-court settlement.

The company will pay compensation to the union to cover partly the unpaid salaries and partly the court expenses of the Union. The Union represents 186 Polish electricians.

Elektrobudowa has been working as a subcontractor at the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant construction site on the Finnish West Coast. In 2011, it had some 360 employees altogether at the Olkiluoto construction site. The main contractor in Olkiluoto is the French company Areva.

Helsinki (08.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Conciliation did not help bring about a local government collective agreement. The existing agreement expired at the end of March, but there has been no major progress in the negotiations so far.

The parties met - telecommuting - on 7 April with the National Conciliator for the third time. This did not break the deadlock and the next meeting will be held after Easter, on 14 April.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the negotiations more difficult. Municipalities say that they have even less money than before, due to the high healthcare costs right now.

On the other hand, the same crisis has highlighted the vital work of health care workers and aroused even more sympathy for their demands for a real pay rise.

Helsinki (06.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) A new collective agreement for the state sector came into effect at the beginning of April.

The agreement will be in place 1.4.2020–28.2.2022. The pay rise included in this 23 month agreement will be 3.07 per cent, which follows the general line in this round of negotiations.

The problematic 24 unpaid annual extra working hours - forced through by the right-wing Government in the agreement in 2016 - will disappear from 1 October 2020.

Helsinki (02.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Redundancies and temporary lay-offs due to the coronavirus pandemic are rising at an alarming pace.

On 1 April, some 9,000 employees have been made redundant since 16 March and the number of temporary lay-offs was 58,000.

A total of 3,670 companies have called for co-operation negotiations, as the law requires, to negotiate on further temporary lay-offs or redundancies. On 2 April, this threatens the employment of 332,973 people.

These figures have been furnished by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. And they only include companies with 20 or more employees, as smaller companies do not have to report their temporary lay-offs and redundancies to the authorities.