Trade Union News from Finland
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.
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