Electrical workers’ strike in the technology industry

The Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union called a targeted strike on Tuesday 1 November. It covers 1,000 members of the Union working in 16 major export companies that are members of the Technology Industries of Finland.

The strike will last until 8 November. One part of the strike is the overtime ban involving all electrical workers.

According to the Electrical Workers’ Union the reason for the strike is that the Technology Industries of Finland refused to negotiate on a continuation of the existing electrical workers’ collective agreement once its expires at the end of October.

The Technology Industries of Finland have made it clear that they want to include electrical workers in the major collective agreement that covers the technology industries.

The other party to this agreement is the Finnish Industrial Union. It says their agreement will not make any changes to the existing terms of work for electrical workers.

But the Electrical Workers’ Union says wages are in danger of dropping. The Union also wants it to be known and remembered that they have negotiated their own collective agreements in the technology industry for the past 50 years.

The National Conciliator Minna Helle has been brought in to arbitrate in the dispute between the Electrical Workers’ Union and employers association. She says that the dispute is one of principle and therefore difficult to solve by conciliation.

If there is no settlement before the end of the strike 8 November, a new strike will begin on 10 November. The strike will last until 27 November and include all 2,500 electrical workers from within the whole technology industry.

Supporting strikes would include 700 Union members working in the paper and mechanical forest industry. And the overtime ban involving all electrical workers would continue.

Trade Union Pro, which organises experts and supervisors in industry has announced that its members will only do their own work during the strike. Pro wants it to be very clearly understood that electrical work must be licensed and that occupational safety regulations are very strict.

Heikki Jokinen