Several industries to be impacted by Finland strikes

06 Dec 2019

Finland is set for a series of strikes on Monday as state mediators didn’t manage to reach a deal between employer organisations and industrial sector unions in regard to wages and working conditions.
The Industrial Union, Trade Union Pro and Delegation of Professional and Managerial Employees (YTN) are all set to launch three-day strikes at technology industry workplaces on Monday.

Strike are also threatened within the chemicals and mechanical forest industry, affecting numerous key export-orientated businesses. 

According to a report by the Helsinki Times, the Technology Industries of Finland has forecast around 60,000 employees at 200 workplaces will take part in the strike, leading to production losses worth hundreds of millions of euros over the three-days.

The National Conciliator’s Office said in a statement on Thursday: “Mediators have today met with the parties in the ongoing labour disputes, but there are still no grounds for finding solutions.”

The Finnish Forest Industries Federation has revealed a six-day lockout from December 12 unless the unrest comes to an end, Reuters reports, meaning closure to half of Finland’s sawmills and plywood plants.

“No new meetings have been agreed,” state mediator Vuokko Piekkala said in the statement. “Mediation can resume only when the parties’ stances change.”

On Thursday, Riku Aalto, the chairperson of the Industrial Union said the collective bargaining negotiations have revealed that the pre-conditions for carrying on the conciliation are at present non-existent.

Aalto stated: “What we’re not satisfied with is the level of wage increases, because the [proposed] general increase of 0.5% for the first year would mean roughly €13 a month based on our mean wages.”

In addition, the settlement proposal included a general 0.6% increase and an employer and workplace-specific increase of 0.5% for year two of the collective bargaining agreement. Aalto claims the increases are not enough to boost the spending power of Industrial Union members.

He went on to say: “A solution that improves cost competitiveness relative to other [countries] is achievable while boosting the purchasing power of our members, if we look at what kind of increases have been adopted in our rival countries.”

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