Instructions for shop stewards and branches of the union on joining the political strike

The Industrial Union gives a voice to the unemployed

The Industrial union will join the political strike to protest the government’s penalising measurement, the so-called active model. The strike begins on 2 February at 6 a.m. and ends on 3 February 5:59 a.m.

With this action, the Industrial Union aims to make the government hear the problems unemployed people face and to treat them seriously. Their approach is based on sanctions and threats, and will only serve to make these problems worse. Instead of negative labelling and bureaucratic controlling, the unemployed deserve to be treated as people who are genuinely trying to move on in their life. They deserve support, encouragement, guidance, training and, most importantly, opportunities for employment.

The measurements this country’s government is taking are also in breach of the Competitiveness Pact the Industrial Union together with other trade unions approved, specifically in order to ensure that no new cuts of unemployment benefits were necessary and that the rights and status of employees would not be changed. The government has broken its promise and that is not acceptable.

The Industrial Union, together with all unions under the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK and everyone else fed up with the government’s attack on unemployed people, will join the #Äänityöttömälle demonstration that starts at 11 a.m. on 2 February at Senaatintori in Helsinki.  With this action, we demand that the government rescinds the active model they put into action in the beginning of the year. It cuts unemployment security and treats the unemployed unfairly. The version 2 of the active model, currently being planned by the government, is also to be protested against. This new version will further tighten the waiting periods for the unemployed.

SAK has proposed its own encouragement-based active job-seeking model instead of the active models based on penalties and sanctions. In the SAK’s model, the waiting periods for the unemployed are considerably shorter compared to the current state. The model encourages and does not leave the unemployed to their own devices. Instead of intimidation, the model offers the unemployed support and personal service.

Actions in the workplace

  1. The strike begins on Friday, 2 February 2018 at 6 a.m. and ends on Saturday, 3 February 2018 at 5:59 a.m.

The strike covers all the shifts that start after midnight on Friday, 2 February. The strike does not cover shifts that start after midnight on Saturday, 3 February. This is a legal industrial action, which means that employers are not permitted to intervene by, for example, preventing their employees from leaving their workplace. Shop stewards will also participate.

  1. The head shop steward of the workplace will notify the employer of the strike without delay.
  2. The strike covers all the employees in the workplace.
  3. No industrial action pay will be paid for this strike.
  4. The head shop steward will agree on any work duties that are excluded from the strike together with the employer.
  5. Duties that can be excluded include: a) rescue and protective services b) duties that are necessary to ensure the safety of equipment, lives and well-being of others, c) duties whose cessation would cause unreasonable actions in order to stop the processes. The preparatory work needed in these processes and the maintenance work required to keep them going are also excluded from the strike, e) the strike will not endanger anyone’s safety at the workplace and it will not cause any harm to animals, machines, equipment or raw material, and f) the strike does not cover process work that would demand unreasonable extra work in order to start the production again at the beginning of the next shift.
  6. The shop steward will also inform the employees of the starting and ending times of the strike.
  7. Please provide your regional office with the name of the business participating in the strike, its location and the amount of employees participating in the strike.
  8. The political strike covers all of the union’s agreement sectors, excluding those working in the media and printing industries, newspaper delivery and salaried workers in the graphical industry.

Actions for the union’s branches

  1. The branches must inform their members and their workplaces of the start and end of the strike.
  2. The branches are responsible in their areas to make sure that employees participate in the strike even in those workplaces where no shop steward has been elected.

Industrial union’s strike service

The strike service is open every day 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday, 29 January to Friday, 2 February.

The phone number for the service is +358 (0)20 774 1039 and the email address is [email protected]

Please contact strike services for all your strike-related questions.


The Industrial Union encourages all its members to also participate in the #Äänityöttömälle demonstration organised by SAK at Senaatintori in Helsinki on 2 February between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

SAK is organising free transportation from regions to Senaatintori. More information can be found at SAK’s webpage at

The shop stewards and the representatives of the union’s branches should be prepared for the media attention and to answer their questions about the demonstration, work stoppage and the reasons behind it all. In addition to this message, information and reasoning can be found via the above link. Please read trough these as they will help you answer the questions.