Industrial Union announces a new large-scale strike in February – “The local collective bargaining package is like a taxi reform for the labour market”

The Industrial Union has today (2 February) submitted notices of large-scale political strikes targeting several industrial sectors. The work stoppages will last three days and will take place from 14 February to 16 February. The strikes are intended to oppose the Orpo government’s attacks on unemployment security and job security, restrictions on the right to strike, and other measures that will harm employees’ everyday lives and rights. According to Riku Aalto, Chairman of the Industrial Union, further industrial action is required because the government is still not showing any willingness to listen to workers.

“The Industrial Union will continue to tighten the screw through strikes. We do not accept the government demolishing the structures built to protect workers. The government’s measures have nothing to do with boosting employment. This is purely an ideology that enterprises have dictated to the government parties,” Aalto says.

At present, the Industrial Union’s main concerns are about the changes in the standards of employment conditions, supervision and employee representation caused by the local collective bargaining package. Riku Aalto compares the local collective bargaining package with the failed taxi reform enacted by Juha Sipilä‘s government.

“The labour market changes being pushed by the government will make it impossible to address weak local agreements. In particular, there is a major risk of foreign workers undercutting the terms at the back of the collective agreements.  The reform poses a genuine threat in terms of the supervision and standard of working conditions and the creation of a second labour market.

“The local collective bargaining package is like a taxi reform for the labour market. Workers will not be the only losers from this deal – it will also impact Finnish entrepreneurs who do not want to compete on poor working conditions. Shady subcontractors and companies that employ lots of foreign workers will emerge victorious from this reform,” Aalto concludes.

The strikes announced by the Industrial Union will be a three-day work stoppage from 14 February to 16 February 2024. The strikes will involve around 60,000 industrial workers. When they take place, these strikes will bring a large share of Finnish industry to a standstill. The strikes do not extend to emergency work or to work that is necessary for the protection of life and health.

More detailed information about the establishments affected by the strikes is available here.