Updates of Trade Union Union News from Finland from 1997 to 28 May 2013 are published on Juhani Artto’s web site.

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.

Helsinki (29.10.2018 – Heikki Jokinen) The trade unions have interrupted their ongoing acts of industrial action to negotiate with the Finnish Government on their new proposal for labour market legislation.

The conflict between the right-wing Government and trade union movement had escalated steadily this autumn. The Unions have insisted all along that they do not accept the Government plan to ease individual dismissals in small companies.

In spite of this PM Sipilä was determined to press ahead with the legislation and showed extremely limited willingness to negotiate with the labour market organisations. This led to a growing number of incidents of industrial action by way of protest against the planned legislation, first with overtime and shift swap bans and then in October short strikes in several sectors.

Now the Government has backed off and proposed a set of measures to the trade unions on which to negotiate. The unions have responded by interrupting the ongoing and planned industrial action measures and said they are ready to negotiate.

Helsinki (16.10.2018 - Heikki Jokinen) PM Sipilä wants to undermine trade union movement resistance to the planned law allowing for easy dismissal in small companies by calling for a confidence vote in Parliament.

Parliament will debate the prime ministerial communique on Tuesday 16 October and hold a vote of confidence in the Government the following day. As PM Sipilä leads a majority Government, he is sure to win the vote.

Some observers view this highly unusual stratagem to avoid real negotiations with the trade unions as mere political play-acting. PM Sipilä explained the reason for his action by saying that after the confidence vote the unions would be protesting against a democratically elected Parliament, not the Government.

However, the bill is still under preparation and Parliament will not know what exactly is actually in it when voting on Wednesday. PM Sipilä furnished Parliament with a one page declaration saying that the objective of making dismissals easier is to improve the employment situation.