Helsinki (14.08.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The negotiation round for the new collective agreements will begin in the next few weeks. One of the first of those to negotiate is the Industrial Union.

In 2016, the Finnish economy was not in good shape. Most of the unions agreed to - under heavy pressure from the right-wing Government - to add the 24 extra annual working hours without a pay in their collective agreements.

This was a part of the three-year national Competitiveness Pact. Now unions say this was an exceptional measure and it is time to return to normality, and abandon the extra hours. Employers associations for their part say that the change is permanent.

Helsinki (05.08.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland will open its own office in Brussels. In 2016, Akava left the joint Brussels office Finunions of all three Finnish trade union confederations.

The new office will open its doors at the beginning of 2020. In the long run the goal is to build a joint advocacy concept with Akava's Nordic sister organisations, says Sture Fjäder, President of Akava.

"We do share very similar needs and goals concerning advocacy work. We seek to strengthen cooperation significantly in this endeavour", Fjäder adds.

Helsinki (29.07.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service announced in July that it has given deportation orders to 139 Uzbek construction workers this year.

These individuals have also received a two-year ban from the Shengen area. The reason for these deportations is that their education documents had been forged.

Uzbeks have been working in Finland on construction work specialising in industrial painting and screeding. These jobs were done mainly by Uzbeks and there had been some 800 Uzbeks in Finland, Yle News reported.

Helsinki (05.07.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The activation model for unemployed people is to be scrapped, the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance) said on 3 July.

She estimates that due to the time needed for the necessary legal changes in Parliament it will be the beginning of the next year before the activation model is confined to history.

This so called activation model is the brainchild of the previous right-wing PM Sipilä government. What has resulted in real terms is that an unemployed job-seeker forfeits 4.65 percent of his or her benefit if they are deemed to be less than active in their search for employment.