Trade Union News from Finland
Helsinki (20.12.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) Only 30 per cent of the unemployed have been able to meet the new criteria to get uncut unemployment benefit under the amended employment security legislation, according to a survey conducted among 6,000 members of unemployment funds run by the unions belonging to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK.
The Finnish right-wing Government introduced, at the beginning of 2018, the so called activation model whereby an unemployed job-seeker forfeits 4.65 percent of his or her benefit if they are deemed to be less than active in their search for employment.
The job-seeker must either find employment for 18 hours in a three month period, receive entrepreneurial income of at least 241 euro or participate in a five day training course or be available for other services offered by the employment offices.
According to the survey, the main reasons for not meeting the new criteria are lack of work and employment services. Those over 55 years of age or those living in the countryside or in Northern Finland in particular experience major difficulties in finding any kind of job.
Helsinki (07.12.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) Labour costs in Finland were, on average, 34.2 Euro per hour in 2016, according to Statistics Finland in its Labour Cost Survey published in November 2018.
In the private sector the hourly costs for an employer were 34.7 Euro, in the local government sector 31.4 Euro and in the central government sector 40.8 Euro.
The costs varied within these sectors, too. In the private sector manufacturing industries had labour costs of 37.2 Euro per hour but in the service industry the figure was 33.9 Euro.
Helsinki (22.11.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) A trade union movement working party called Itset has published a list of goals to improve the situation of self-employed workers.
Finland will have parliamentary elections in April 2019. Many unions, NGO's and other interest groups are now drafting and publishing their wish-lists which they want to see included in the next Government Programme following the elections.
Itset is a working party composed of all three trade union confederations SAK, STTK and Akava, several of their member unions and the Union of Journalists in Finland.
Trade unions must be able to represent the self-employed in negotiations concerning pay and conditions - this is Itset’s fundamental and most important demand. European competition legislation provides no obstacle, the group believes, as in the case of Germany where the unions are in a position to make such deals on the basis of the Copyright Act.
Helsinki (11.11.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) The trade unions are ready to accept the tripartite proposal for an amendment to the Employment Contracts Act concerning the disputed dismissal paragraph. In practise the amendment will not change anything. Industrial action is over now, too.
The long struggle began when the right-wing Government tried to ease individual dismissal in companies with less than 20 employees. The unions were adamant that they would not accept any weakening of employment security.
Once strong resistance from the unions became clear the Government tried to salvage their proposal by setting the limit to 10 employees, but for the unions it was a question of principle, not a question of numbers. Government intransigence and their unwillingness to negotiate led to industrial action been taken by several unions in September and October.
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