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Helsinki (26.03.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) The employers' association, the Technology Industries of Finland announced on 25 March that it will pull out of the national collective bargaining system. It has established a new association, which will henceforth handle all matters connected to collective bargaining.

According to the Technology Industries, its 1,600 member companies can then freely decide whether they want to join the national collective agreement, drafted by the new association, or make their own company level collective agreements.

However, the intention of this whole maneuver is pretty clear: to terminate the generally binding collective agreements in the technology industry.

Helsinki (25.03.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) One in four employers have unjustifiable sought to restrict employee and shop steward rights to express their views regarding their workplace.

This is the result of a survey, published by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK in March. SAK collected replies from 825 of their member unions shop stewards and occupational safety and health representatives.

The most common ways to restrict employees’ freedom of speech are by banning commenting on matters concerning the workplace in social media and when giving interviews to the media.

Helsinki (12.03.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) Plans to create a major new unemployment fund are proceeding apace. However, one of the funds originally expected to be part of the merger pulled out but will now be replaced by another fund.

In Autumn 2020, the Public and Welfare Sectors’ Unemployment Fund, the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers and the Unemployment Fund of the Construction sector announced their plans to amalgamate.

In February, the funds engaged in the amalgamation plans said that the Public and Welfare Sectors’ Unemployment Fund is no longer involved in the merger plans. But there is now another fund that wishes to join, Finka. This is a fund that covers journalists and perfoming artists, like musicians, singers and actors.

Helsinki (04.03.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) The question of so called local agreements seems now to be centre stage of the Finnish labour market debate. The problem is that it is not clear exactly what people mean when they speak about local agreements.

In general, the trade union side focuses on flexibility in issues like organising work shifts, fixing holidays, and introducing working hour accounts.

From the employers side, local agreements seem to mean the possibility to cut pay below collective agreements and make working hours longer than agreed. Also, an opportunity to sidetrack unions and shop stewards in this process would appear to be important.