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Helsinki (20.03.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The process involving temporarily lay-offs should be provisionally conducted swiftly in private companies, the Finnish labour market organisations are proposing.

The reason for this is clear: due to the coronavirus pandemic a big number of companies are in serious economic turmoil and might face bankruptcy if immediate steps are not taken to reduce their costs.

On 16 March, the Finnish Government declared a state of emergency restricting the movement of people. This and other measures against the spread of coronavirus have caused a sudden and serious liquidity problem in many companies, especially in services.

Published on 18 March, the proposal by the labour market organisations was unanimous. It has the full backing of all three trade union confederations Akava, SAK, STTK and both employers' associations EK and KT.

Helsinki (19.03.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on the ongoing collective bargaining round, too. Agreements in industry and private services are more or less ready or approaching a decision, but very much open in the public services.

Several public services collective agreements are expiring at the end of March. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the public sector economy will face major challenges in the near future, and this does not make negotiations any easier.

There are different proposals as to how to cope with the situation. Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland and Super - the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses propose that the collective bargaining in local government and private sectors should be interrupted due to the pandemic and a state of emergency declared by the Finnish Government on 16 March.

Helsinki (12.03.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) There is clear evidence that the income gap between employees and publicly listed company chief executives has widened significantly in the past year. Now, a private sector employee must work for 47 days to earn what a major listed company CEO earns in a day. A year before, it took 34 days' work.

March 9 was the moment at which the average private sector employee earnings of this year surpassed a private company chief executive’s daily pay. A year before the date was February 18.

The figures are calculated annually by the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK. They take into account the longer working hours of CEOs, too. The calculations are inspired by the Fat Cat Day in the UK.

Helsinki (03.03.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) By now, most of the industry sectors have agreed upon new collective agreements. For example, the Industrial Union announced on 24 February that they have reached a resolution in negotiations for all of their collective agreements in the technology sector.

Trade Union Pro has also made new progress in collective bargaining, being able to close some deals and move forward in other negotiations. The employers are finally ready to negotiate and strike a deal with Pro, after a long period of reluctance to do so.

Signs of an end to the deadlock in the private services sector are also apparent after Service Union United PAM reached major agreements for the retail trade and facilities services. However, PAM still has many agreements to negotiate.