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

Helsinki (07.06.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Government has in practise ended any tripartite consensus when drafting legislation, according to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK.

Tripartite negotiations and agreements have long been a well-established way to resolve major social issues. Governments have, until now,  been able to use the knowledge of all parties and engage them in a concerted effort to tackle issues in a practical way and reach common agreement, SAK says.

Thus, tripartite negotiations have, for decades, been the birthplace of many major social reforms. Some recent examples are the national pact for employment and growth in 2015 with ultra moderate pay rises and reform of the pension system in 2014. With genuine tripartite participation it was possible to make changes without political and social turbulence.

JHL (25.05.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) JHL, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors is also working for a decent working life globally. It promotes several projects in other parts of the world with the aim of improving employee rights to organise and negotiate collectively on the terms of employment.

An important partner in this work is the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland SASK. The latter is the solidarity and development cooperation organisation of several Finnish trade unions which promotes decent work and core labour standards around the world.

The ongoing projects of JHL and SASK can be seen first hand at the World Village Festival in Helsinki May 26-27.

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.