Trade Union News from Finland archive from 15 August 1997 to 28 May 2013 at Juhani Artto's archive

Helsinki (26.09.1997 - Juhani Artto) The transport workers union (AKT) has made a concerted effort in the last few weeks to correct the practices of the unorganized employers. According to the union, the grey trucking sector comprises a large number of companies. In its initial stages the campaign is targeting about 150 companies employing 2.000 drivers and ancillary workers.

In August, the union threatened a boycott of companies not complying with the national collective agreement. The union is in a good position to exert pressure for its demand, since it has strong support in the ports. A large share of the econimically vital forest industry export trade goes through the ports. In the late 1980s the union was able to organize a boycott against trade with apartheid South-Africa.

AKT is an active member of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) which has recently strengthened its fight against grey economy.

Helsinki (12.09.1997 - Juhani Artto) One in four workers are ready for a shorter working week without full compensation. This is the rank and file attitude in the Chemical workers union in Finland.

A majority, 74 per cent, says yes to shorter week only if income levels do not fall. 20 per cent approve a slight slide in incomes in favour of shorter working hours. Five per cent of those union members interviewed accept equal cuts in the total number of working hours and in total incomes.

Among unemployed union members the attitude is more flexible. 56 per cent reject the idea of lowering income levels, 26 per cent approve of some lowering, while 14 per cent accept equal cuts in incomes and working time.

The study was made in May-June 1997, based on a sample of 1090 union members. 31,4 per cent responded to the survey.

Helsinki (29.08.1997 - Juhani Artto) Most of the unemployed, 58 per cent of the interviewed, regard trade unions as the most reliable force in the fight for jobs. President Martti Ahtisaari's work to combat unemployment is appreciated by 40 per cent of the unemployed.

Among entrepreneurs, 71 per cent and 67 per cent of the young adults believe that the union movement works seriously for new jobs. Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's cabinet and the employers score 38 and 37 per cent respectively.

These figures are from an opinion poll conducted by Finnish Gallup. More than one thousand Finns over 15 years old were interviewed in February.

The study reveals that the confidence of the Finns in the future is strenghtening, following the deep recession of the early 1990s.

Helsinki (15.08.1997 - Juhani Artto) The Finnish government has agreed on a two per cent cut in the 1998 income tax rate. This is to compensate for anticipated inflation. The government is ready for greater tax cuts in autumn if wage settlements remain moderate in the next round of collective agreements.

Analysts believe that the employer and trade union organisations will reach a new centralised collective agreement in the next few months. One obstacle, which is probably not insurmountable, lies in the specialised trade problems emphasized by the Union of the Pulp and Paper Workers. Negotiations to solve these special problems began earlier this week.