Helsinki (14.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) After a long bout of shadow-boxing, negotiations for the forestry company UPM workers' collective agreement have begun. The National Conciliator has invited the parties to meet on 14 February.

The paper industry collective agreement expired at the end of December, but UPM did not want to begin to draft a new one unless its preconditions as to the form of the agreement are fully met.

The Finnish Electrical Workers' Union and the Paper Workers' Union had no other choice but to begin a strike at UPM mills and plants. The strike has now been going on since 1 January.

Helsinki (04.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) On 2 February, Service Union United PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation adopted a new collective agreement for the commerce sector.

It will mean an increase in wages, working hour bonuses and shop stewards’ compensation by 2 per cent as of 1 May 2022.

The collective agreement is valid from 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2024 and the pay rise for the second year will be negotiated before 15 December this year.

In collective agreements made earlier during this current round of negotiations other sectors have seen pay rises of between 1.8 and 2.0 per cent for this year. The PAM agreement thus hits the upper ceiling reached so far this year.

Helsinki (02.02.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) This round of collective agreements has shown that collective bargaining is still the best way to advance the goals of both sides, says the SAK Board. However, in the case of forestry giant UPM, we have a sad example of how ideology has been put before all other goals.

A large number of collective agreements were due to expire around the end of the year 2021. This round of collective bargaining is different than before, as the forest industry terminated all national level agreements and the technology industry handed over collective bargaining to a new national organisation.

In spite of widely expected major difficulties in the labour market, the negotiation round has been running better than expected. The Board of SAK, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions, is happy about this.

Helsinki (28.01.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) The number of employed people was 128,000 higher in December 2021 than one year before, according to the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Finland. And the number of unemployed persons was 16,000 fewer in December than a year ago.

The Government of PM Sanna Marin has a goal to reach a 75 per cent employment rate by the end of 2023. This goal is getting closer to being realised, as the trend of the employment rate was 73.5 per cent in December and the trend of the unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent.

The number of unemployed went down by 7.9 per cent in a year but as at the same time the number of inactive population went down 8.1 per cent, the unemployment rate did not fall very much.