Helsinki (26.08.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Delegate Council meeting of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK unanimously elected Jarkko Eloranta to continue as the President of the federation on August 25.

In his speech to the Delegate Council Eloranta voiced concern about the future of the Finnish labour market model which is based on negotiations and contracts.

He pointed out that the employers' federation EK has tried for many years to undermine the range of contracts between labour market parties, like discontinuing the national labour market pacts, terminating the labour market federations' joint agreements and now a determination to end the pay-related unemployment fund system.

Helsinki (26.08.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The incumbent Akava President Sture Fjäder was re-elected for another four year term. He emerged successful in the Congress elections on 25 August with 578 votes against 292 votes for Maria Teikari.

Sture Fjäder (born 1958) has been the President of Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff since 2011. Akava is one of the three Finnish trade union federations. At the beginning of this year, Akava had 36 member unions totalling 608,811 members.

In his speech to the Congress Fjäder made particular mention of how the Finnish labour market system was working well during the exceptional time of this coronavirus crisis.

Helsinki (21.08.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Finland will intensify its battle to prevent the exploitation of foreign labour. A working group from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment published its proposal for new measures in this endeavour on 20 August. This received immediate support from the trade union movement.

The working group drafted 14 proposals for legislative measures, measures related to the guidance provided by the authorities, and measures designed to improve cooperation. There are also proposals for a more effective system of imposing sanctions on employers guilty of exploitation.

Further resources are to be made available to the authorities, also. Cooperation between the authorities is to be enhanced by improving the exchange of information and the use of surveillance and other data, the working group advises.

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.