Helsinki (19.02.2001) Nine Finnish trade unions presented 7.2.2001 to court a claim for indemnification of more than EUR 8 million for the closing down of Fujitsu Siemens Computers computer factory and product development in Espoo, Finland.
The plaint was presented to court for breaking the Finnish Act on cooperation in undertakings. The trade unions are pleading this case for approximately 220 dismissed blue and white collar workers.
It is claimed that the undertaking should pay to all employees involved a 20 months' salary as indemnification. It is the highest possible indemnification determined by the Finnish Act on cooperation in undertakings. The individual claims vary from approx. EUR 33 000 to more than EUR 100 000.
The personnel was informed about the closing down of the plant 14.12.1999. The closing down was an immediate consequence from the merger of Fujitsu and Siemens computer activities at European level. In the connection with the merger the production and product development was relocated from Finland to Fujitsu and Siemens plants in Germany. The plant in Espoo, Finland was profitable.
According to the trade unions the Finnish Act on cooperation in undertakings was systematically broken and information about the planned consequences of the merger in Europe was directly kept back in Finland at the very moment when the undertaking should together with the staff have openly looked for possibilities to continue the production in Finland.
The chairman of Finnish Metalworkers Union Erkki Vuorenmaa says that the union want to see by means of legal proceedings how the Act on cooperation in undertakings operates in Finland, even if the legal proceeding will not bring back the jobs to the Espoo plant.
Vuorenmaa finds it important that the international company management now will be by means of legal proceedings reminded of that the rules of the game in the Finnish working life also concern big multinationals' subsidiaries in Finland and even in cases of merger.
The claim for indemnification according to the Act on cooperation in undertakings was presented to court by Finnish Metalworkers' Union, Union of Technical Employees, Federation of Special Service and Clerical Employees, Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, The Finnish Association of Graduate Engineers, Association of Finnish Political Scientists, Central Union of Special Branches within Akava and the Finnish Association of Graduates in Economics and Business Administration.