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.

Helsinki (08.04.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Finland will elect a new Parliament on Sunday 14 April. The campaign Nation of the Free is striving to get labour market issues onto the electoral agenda.

The campaign Vapaiden valtakunta (Nation of the Free) was initiated by young trade union activists last autumn. The main idea is to ask all candidates standing for Parliament to what extent they agree with the values of the campaign.

Another important task they have taken upon themselves is to motivate people to vote. The campaign is not providing financial assistance or support to any individual candidate or any single political party.