Helsinki (13.08.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) In June, a debate on earnings-related unemployment security got underway in Finland. Some right-wing politicians and the employers' federation EK proposed closing down the existing unemployment funds and starting up a new state institution to distribute benefits to everyone under uniform rules.

As things now stand, membership of any of the 24 wage and salary earners unemployment funds confers the right to a higher, earnings-related unemployment benefit.

All but one of these funds works in connection with the trade unions. However, a fund member need not necessarily be a union member and the funds are administered independently.

In August, the Board of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK said it welcomes the discussion on earnings-related unemployment. Earlier this summer, however, the case being put forward by the employers federation and some politicians was perceived as being just and fair, but without defining precisely how this was to be carried out in practise.

Helsinki (30.07.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK suddenly reversed its position on the issue of earnings-related unemployment benefits. Up until now it has supported the existing system whereby the benefits are paid through the unemployment funds. Since the year 1895, these funds have been mainly administered by the trade unions.

In July, the main lobby organisation of the Finnish business EK said it will support the proposals to establish a single state fund for unemployment benefits. This would make the existing 24 wage and salary earners unemployment funds redundant.

According to EK, this would extend the earnings-related benefits to everyone, as now these are paid only for those who are members of the unemployment funds. As things now stand those people who are not members of unemployment get lower benefits.

Tekijä (15.07.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) It is absolutely vital for a trade union to know who the members are, and what they want, and expect. The union is made up of members and exists for its members.

Even though the roots of the Industrial Union go back to the year 1869 when the first association for book printers in Helsinki was established, the Industrial Union of today began its work at the beginning of 2018.

Now the 2.5 years old union wants to find out what the members are thinking and doing and what they expect from the Union. A major survey from among the Union members was carried out in February and March 2020.

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.