Helsinki (02.09.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) Forestry giant UPM adamantly refuses to engage in collective bargaining with their salaried employees. Since the beginning of this year, they have not had any collective agreement whatsoever.

According to the UPM press release last December, "defining terms of employment without collective agreement gives the same starting point and possibilities for everyone".

Now, UPM has had time to translate this into reality as there is no collective agreement for their salaried employees in Finland. Their actions seem to be based on a policy of divide and rule.

Helsinki (26.08.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) Sture Fjäder, Akava President, is to stand as a candidate for the Finnish parliament in the next elections in April 2023. For this reason, he stepped down as President on 22 August and Akava will get a temporary replacement until congress meets on 14 November.

Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff, is one of the three trade union confederations with 615,000 members. Akava Director Pekka Piispanen will now take over the daily running of the office and be in charge of the handling of Akava’s interests.

Akava board meetings are to be chaired alternately by three Vice Presidents Salla Luomanmäki, Katarina Murto and Mikko Salo. Vice President Jari Jokinen is a candidate in the upcoming Akava presidency and will not chair any board meetings.

Helsinki (12.08.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) The summer holiday season is coming to a close in Finland. People return to work and schools have already started. At the same time the debate on the next round of collective agreements has got underway.

Minister of Finance, Chairperson of the Centre Party Annika Saarikko said in the beginning of August that she would be ready to consider income tax cuts if pay rises in new collective agreements are "moderate". This means a pay rise below the level of inflation, which is predicted to be three per cent next year.

Saarikko's proposal is nothing surprising. Tax cuts are usually the first - and often only - cure the right-wing parties offer up for any situation or problem. It is also convenient for companies, as it partly finances pay rises from public money instead of company profits.

Helsinki (05.08.2022 - Heikki Jokinen) Workplaces are rapidly becoming more multicultural even here in Finland. As this is a new situation in many places, problems may arise. However, quite often this is down to a lack of skills and experience on how to get along with people from other backgrounds.

In 2021, out of Finland's total population, 470,000 people had a foreign background. That makes 8.5 per cent of the population. In working life, the share of people with a foreign background is even higher as there are less retired people from this group than in the whole population.

STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals, opened this summer a dedicated website on how to improve fruitful work and activities in multicultural workplaces. The target groups are in particular supervisors and shop stewards, but also people in the workplaces in general.