The Industrial Union expands walkouts to Häme: “We want workers’ voices to be heard”

The Industrial Union is continuing its political industrial action against the Government’s erosion of workers’ rights on Tuesday 10 October. This industrial action involves short, one-hour walkouts in the electoral district of Häme. The measures are part of SAK’s joint Serious grounds campaign, which aims to defend workers against the Government’s one-sided plans to weaken workers’ rights.

“Our members are unanimous in their message: Singling out the people who Finnish society is built on – workers – with cuts and erosion of rights is unacceptable. The workers are committed to reiterating their position again and again until the Government is ready to listen.”

“Finnish working life is on the wrong trajectory. There are conscious efforts ongoing to weaken the ability of employees to collectively bargain for better pay and conditions,” says Chair of the Industrial Union Riku Aalto.

“Bypassing shop stewards opens the way for lower wages”

The Government is downplaying the effects the proposed amendments will have on Finns’ working conditions. The Industrial Union is concerned that local agreements that legally bypass shop stewards will lead to worse terms of employment and the use of foreign labour to depress wages.

“The Government suggests that these are minor changes, but that’s simply not true. In reality, this is about eroding the coverage of collective agreements and weakening the representation of employees’ interests at the workplace.”

The Government’s model for local agreements removes employers’ incentives to organise. As a result, the general applicability of collective agreements will be weakened and potentially broken down entirely in the future. This will shift bargaining power increasingly towards companies, which will weaken terms of employment nationwide.

“If generally applicable collective agreements fall out of use, we will be going down the same path as the forest industry, with separate agreements for every company. If that happens, only the most organised workplaces can expect a collective agreement. For others, what terms of employment they get will be down to luck,” Aalto says.

The Industrial Union observes a 4-day notice period for its political industrial actions. The walkouts do not apply to emergency work or to work that is necessary for the protection of life and health. The walkouts on Tuesday 10 October will last one hour. The workplaces participating in the walkouts are located in the electoral district of Häme. The workplaces are:

Aluroll – Lahti, Arcos Hydraulic – Nastola, Fokor – Forssa, Isku Interior – Lahti, Konecranes Finland – Hämeenlinna, Kumera Drives – Riihimäki, Parmarine – Forssa, Patria Land – Hämeenlinna, Raute – Nastola, Sako – Riihimäki, Sandvik Mining and Construction – Lahti, Vesivek Tuotteet – Orimattila.

More information about the locations and times of the walkouts can be found at: The Industrial Union will make further announcements regarding planned walkouts tomorrow, Saturday 7 October.

Additional information:

  • Riku Aalto (Interviews)
    +358  (0)40 071 1072
  • Mika Häkkinen (Industrial action enquiries, shop steward interviews)
    Organising Coordinator
    +358  (0)40 652 8722