Tekijä (13.09.2023 - Heikki Jokinen) Since June, Finland has had a very right-wing government led by PM Petteri Orpo. It combines swinging the balance in the labour market in favour of employers and company owners with making life harder for immigrants.
As one of their most urgent tasks, the government plans to curb the right to strike this autumn. One plan is to limit the right to conduct political strikes. According to the Government Programme, this right shall be limited to one day.
The same urgency concerns union solidarity actions. These should be "proportionate in relation to the objectives" and "only affect the parties to the labour dispute". This would mean goodbye to solidarity actions for weaker unions in need.
A strange and perhaps not even legal plan is to make union members pay a 200 euro fine should they continue a strike which the Labour Court has found to be unlawful. The purpose of this is obviously to scare people away from joining strikes in general. However, the fine would only cover those extremely rare cases when illegal strikes continue after a court decision.
These government ideas are not yet laws. But one thing is certain, unions will defend their members’ right to strike.