Updates of Trade Union Union News from Finland from 1997 to 28 May 2013 are published on Juhani Artto’s web site.

Helsinki (22.05.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The plans of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises to get their employees to leave the union unemployment funds has been widely criticised. The trade unions are flabbergasted, too.

Mikael Pentikäinen, the CEO of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises announced in May that the federation is encouraging their member companies to pay unemployment fund fees for those employees who belong to the private YTK fund instead of the union funds.

Pentikäinen wrote with surprising honesty that the very aim of the action is to "create more pressure to reform the labour markets". According to him the entrepreneurs are running out of patience with how "the trade union movement puts a brake on necessary labour market reform and prevents enterprises and their employees from making local agreements concerning terms of employment".

Unemployment funds are traditionally set up and administered by the trade unions and work in co-operation with the unions. YTK fund is an exception to this rule, a private fund without connection to the trade unions.

Helsinki (18.05.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) From the beginning of June zero-hours contracts will become a legal part of Finnish working life. The new legislation will stipulate some limits, but does little to tackle the actual problem.

The trade union movement has been struggling for a long time against zero-hours contracts. These set the weekly working hours from zero to 40, also giving the employer the possibility to hire staff with no guarantee of work.

This situation affects young people mostly: according to Statistics Finland nearly one-half of those working zero-hours contracts were aged under 25, and 65 per cent were under 30 in the year 2014. A majority of those with zero-hours contracts, 57 per cent in all were women.

According to Statistics Finland estimates 83,000 Finns were working zero-hours contracts in 2014. This accounts for four per cent of the total workforce.

Helsinki (30.04.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The new statistics show that the fears surrounding the new amended employment security legislation have unfortunately come true. More than half of those receiving unemployment benefit from the SAK unions' funds have seen their benefits cut.

The Finnish Government last year introduced legislation stipulating that an unemployed job-seeker may forfeit 4.65 percent of his or her benefit if they are deemed to be less than active in their search for employment.

This means that the job-seeker must either find employment for 18 hours in a three month period, receive entrepreneurial income of at least 241 euro or participate in a five day training course or for other services offered by the employment offices.

The new law has now been in effect for three months and the unemployment funds are able to draw their first conclusions.

JHL (19.04.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The recent changes in unemployment security cut benefits but do not help in finding a job, says Teija Asara-Laaksonen, the Chief Executive Officer of JHL.

From the beginning of this year unemployed job seekers are seeing their benefits cut by 4.65 per cent in each three month period unless they succeed in finding employment temporarily, receive some entrepreneurial income or participate in training offered by the employment offices.

The Finnish Government pushed the cuts through claiming they will activate job seekers and improve employment prospects. The trade union movement vehemently opposed the proposed measures, arguing that in real terms all this amounted to was simply a cut in benefits which does little to help in finding a new job.

Now JHL, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors can show some figures to assess what has actually happened as a result.