Trade Union News from Finland
Helsinki (31.01.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The long and complicated electricians strike took a step towards a solution. The Board of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union accepted on 30 January company level agreements with Konecranes and Valmet Automotive.
The electricians strike began on 5 December and has continued ever since. Industrial action is still ongoing at seven companies, like the Meyer dockyard, the Boliden zink factory, SSAB steel factories and the Outokumpu steel factory.
The core issue is union member’s right to their own shop steward. In 2017, the Industrial Union and Technology Industries included the industry electricians terms of work in their collective agreement. The Finnish Electrical Workers' Union then lost their own collective agreement in respect of some one thousand union members in the industry.
Helsinki (26.01.2020 – Heikki Jokinen) A new series of industrial action is set to begin from Monday 27 January onwards. The Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro have announced strikes in the mechanical forestry industry and energy sector. The paper industry is also heading towards a strike.
The strike in the chemical industry is, however, to be delayed. The Minister of Employment, Social Democrat Tuula Haatainen used her prerogative, under law, to delay the strike – set to begin on Monday 27 January – by two weeks. According to Minister Haatainen the strike could affect critical functions as it would close the Neste oil refinery. This could lead to serious disturbances in transport.
Minister Haatainen also used her prerogative to delay, by two weeks, the Trade Union Pro strike in respect of clerical employees in the technology sector.
Helsinki (10.01.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The PM Sipilä right-wing Government drastic actions in the labour market some years ago casts a long and dark shadow today over this year’s collective bargaining round.
In 2016, the Government forced almost all trade unions to accept 24 unpaid annual extra working hours in their collective agreements. The alternative would have been harsh punishments in labour legislation cutting the rights and benefits of wage and salary earners.
At the same time unions were forced to accept a transfer of some labour social costs from companies to employees. According to calculations by the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK this shift will benefit employers in 2017 - 2020 to the tune of 6.577 billion euro.
Helsinki (06.01.2020 – Heikki Jokinen) After several months of negotiations the new collective agreement for the technology industry was accepted on Saturday 4 January. It will bring a 3.3 per cent pay increase and the agreement is for 25 months.
The agreement covers some 93,000 employees and is considered important in paving the way for other collective agreements. Negotiations in almost all other sectors have been halted as the parties involved have been waiting to see what the pay rise in the export industry would be.
Riku Aalto, President of the Industrial Union views the disappearance of the 24 unpaid annual extra working hours as being the most important element in the new agreement. This punitive measure was agreed in 2016 under heavy pressure from the right-wing Government of PM Sipilä.
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