Helsinki (05.05.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish state owned alcoholic beverages retail monopoly Alko has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Service Union United PAM and the global union IUF to promote respect for worker rights in the company's international supply chain.

This includes workers' rights to form unions and negotiate their working conditions through collective bargaining. The focus is especially centred around the production of grapes.

In this Memorandum Alko, PAM and IUT agree to exchange information on working conditions in the alcoholic beverages supply chain and to meet four times a year.

Helsinki (24.4.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The long time court case between the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union and Polish company Elektrobudowa SA ended in March with an out-of-court settlement.

The company will pay compensation to the union to cover partly the unpaid salaries and partly the court expenses of the Union. The Union represents 186 Polish electricians.

Elektrobudowa has been working as a subcontractor at the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant construction site on the Finnish West Coast. In 2011, it had some 360 employees altogether at the Olkiluoto construction site. The main contractor in Olkiluoto is the French company Areva.

Helsinki (08.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) Conciliation did not help bring about a local government collective agreement. The existing agreement expired at the end of March, but there has been no major progress in the negotiations so far.

The parties met - telecommuting - on 7 April with the National Conciliator for the third time. This did not break the deadlock and the next meeting will be held after Easter, on 14 April.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the negotiations more difficult. Municipalities say that they have even less money than before, due to the high healthcare costs right now.

On the other hand, the same crisis has highlighted the vital work of health care workers and aroused even more sympathy for their demands for a real pay rise.

Helsinki (06.04.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) A new collective agreement for the state sector came into effect at the beginning of April.

The agreement will be in place 1.4.2020–28.2.2022. The pay rise included in this 23 month agreement will be 3.07 per cent, which follows the general line in this round of negotiations.

The problematic 24 unpaid annual extra working hours - forced through by the right-wing Government in the agreement in 2016 - will disappear from 1 October 2020.