Helsinki (11.02.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Three major collective agreement conflicts have ended in agreement. Now there are collective agreements in the chemical and paper industry and for white-collar employees in the technology industry. The pay rise approximates 3.3 per cent generally and with 25 month agreements.

A new collective agreement for the chemical basic industry and oil, gas and petrochemical products industry and plastic and chemical product industry was agreed on 6 February. A strike was scheduled to begin only some days later.

The agreement is valid until the end of 2021 and will raise salaries by 3.3 per cent.

"The pay rise follows the general line in the export industry and the unpaid 24 hour extra annual working time will be deleted completely in the agreement", says Toni Laiho, Sector Director at the Industrial Union.

Helsinki (31.01.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The long and complicated electricians strike took a step towards a solution. The Board of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union accepted on 30 January company level agreements with Konecranes and Valmet Automotive.

The electricians strike began on 5 December and has continued ever since. Industrial action is still ongoing at seven companies, like the Meyer dockyard, the Boliden zink factory, SSAB steel factories and the Outokumpu steel factory.

The core issue is union member’s right to their own shop steward. In 2017, the Industrial Union and Technology Industries included the industry electricians terms of work in their collective agreement. The Finnish Electrical Workers' Union then lost  their own collective agreement in respect of some one thousand union members in the industry.

Helsinki (26.01.2020 – Heikki Jokinen) A new series of industrial action is set to begin from Monday 27 January onwards. The Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro have announced strikes in the mechanical forestry industry and energy sector. The paper industry is also heading towards a strike.

The strike in the chemical industry is, however, to be delayed. The Minister of Employment, Social Democrat Tuula Haatainen used her prerogative, under law, to delay the strike – set to begin on Monday 27 January – by two weeks. According to Minister Haatainen the strike could affect critical functions as it would close the Neste oil refinery. This could lead to serious disturbances in transport.

Minister Haatainen also used her prerogative to delay, by two weeks, the Trade Union Pro strike in respect of clerical employees in the technology sector.

Helsinki (10.01.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The PM Sipilä right-wing Government drastic actions in the labour market some years ago casts a long and dark shadow today over this year’s collective bargaining round.

In 2016, the Government forced almost all trade unions to accept 24 unpaid annual extra working hours in their collective agreements. The alternative would have been harsh punishments in labour legislation cutting the rights and benefits of wage and salary earners.

At the same time unions were forced to accept a transfer of some labour social costs from companies to employees. According to calculations by the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK this shift will benefit employers in 2017 - 2020 to the tune of 6.577 billion euro.