SAK and STTK organise mass demonstration against government cuts
Finland’s leading employee confederations SAK and STTK are arranging a major STOP now! demonstration to protest against government cuts in working conditions and social welfare. The demonstration will take place in Helsinki Senate Square from 12.00 to 14.00 on Thursday 1 February.
The trade unions and employee confederations have participated in tripartite working groups and discussion events set up by the government, attending parliamentary hearings to stress the severe human impact of decisions and the minimal effect of some measures in terms of boosting employment and saving costs.
SAK and STTK are accordingly calling on all individuals and civil society organisations who are concerned about this government policy to join the demonstration. The common message from the unions and their allies to a government seeking cuts in working conditions and public wellbeing is to suspend these preparations at once.
“The first cuts affecting the unemployed have already taken effect and the government is already preparing further measures. Weaker job security, unpaid sick leave and restrictions on the right to strike are just around the corner. The attack on employee rights will enable a massive increase of social inequality in Finland,” says SAK President Jarkko Eloranta.
Unions affiliated to SAK and STTK will make their own decisions on how to participate in the demonstration.
“The government reforms of employment conditions are wholly motivated by ideology, and entirely lacking in verified impacts on employment or the national economy. It is quite incredible that the government is choosing to ignore assessments of the impacts of those reforms and popular opinion,” says STTK President Antti Palola.
Bus transport from provincial centres will be arranged for demonstrators attending from other parts of Finland. Food and programme events will also be arranged at Helsinki Senate Square. Several civil society organisations have already declared their intention to join the demonstration.