Trade Union News from Finland
Helsinki (03.06.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The incoming Finnish Government is committed to making almost a full U-turn on labour market issues in comparison with the line taken by the outgoing Government.
The five party leaders participating in the negotiations to form a new Government released on Monday, June 3, a 193-page draft government programme. It promises cooperation in the labour market instead of confrontation which was one of the hallmarks of the outgoing right wing Government headed by PM Sipilä.
Participating in negotiations to form a new government include the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Green Party, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party. The incoming PM Antti Rinne is the leader of the Social Democratic Party and a former President of the Trade Union Pro.
The main goal of the draft programme is to raise the employment rate from today's 72.4 per cent to 75 per cent.
Helsinki (24.05.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Unions agreed in 2016 to sign up to an exceptional national Competitiveness Pact under heavy pressure from PM Sipilä’s right-wing Government. The pact added 24 hours onto annual working time and cut holiday pay for those working in the public sector by 30 per cent for three years.
And a portion of the Employees' pension insurance contribution was also transferred from employers to employees. This, in practise, led to pay cuts.
One of the major questions in the collective agreement round this autumn will be whether the extended working hours will stay in the collective agreements or not. The Competitiveness Pact included one optional year, and this negotiation is open now.
Helsinki (30.04.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Electrical Workers' Union filed an offence report asking Police to investigate measures taken by 20 companies during the union backed overtime ban in February and March last year.
According to the union companies maintaining the electrical grid delivered, during the overtime ban, 210 notices of emergency work to the authorities. This resulted in 2 400 hours of overtime work by more than 420 electricians.
This overtime work, the union says, was against the Working Hours Act. The law clearly stipulates that emergency work can only be used in exceptional cases, not to break legal industrial action.
Helsinki (25.04.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Trade union members are once again well represented among the members of the Finnish parliament. A majority of the MPs elected on April 14 most certainly belong to a union.
Out of the 200 seats, which make up the Finnish Parliament, 21 were won by members of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL. According to the JHL union magazine Motiivi, 14 of them represent the Social Democrats and 5 the Left Alliance.
Among them is Li Andersson, the Left Alliance party leader who was elected with a very high number of personal votes. In the previous Parliament sat also 21 JHL members, which means that one out of ten MPs is still a member of JHL Union.
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