Questions and answers about the strike 15–17 February

1. Why has industrial action been taken?

Wage earners’ purchasing power has deteriorated significantly over the last six months. At the same time industrial enterprises have been making big profits and have distributed record dividends. Employers don’t seem to understand what it’s like for wage earners as prices and interest rates go up. The unwillingness of employers to come to a reasonable settlement has led to a situation where the Industrial Union has to speed things up by taking industrial action to achieve a settlement.

2. Who does the strike apply to?

The strike applies to selected workplaces in three Industrial Union agreement sectors; technology industry, plastics and chemical products industry and chemical basic industry.

The strike covers all work under the collective agreement applied at the workplace.

Check the strike sites here.

The strike applies to all work regardless of an employee’s role or whether they are a member of the Industrial Union or not.

Note: industrial action also applies to employees of other companies working in companies in roles within the scope of the above collective agreements, for example agency workers.

3. When does the strike start and end?

The strike covers all shifts on the shift list starting between midnight on Wednesday 15 February 2023 and 11.59 pm on Friday 17 February 2023.

If a shift started the previous day but continues into a strike day, that shift is completed.

If a shift starts during the strike days, that shift is not started or worked. Work is only resumed on shifts starting on the day after the strike days.

Production stops at the workplace during the strike. If a process needs to be run down, this is done before the strike starts and is restarted after the strike ends.

4. Are strikes legal?

Yes, they are. The validity of the collective agreements in all the agreement sectors in the strike has ended when the strike begins. This means there is no obligation of good labour relations in these agreement sectors.

The right to take industrial action is a fundamental right.

5. Can an employer dismiss an employee for going on strike?

No. If industrial action is initiated by a trade union, an employer is not entitled to dismiss or terminate an employment contract for participating in the industrial action. The Industrial Union is a trade union.

6. What if my employer orders me to work despite the strike?

It is legal to take strike action and employers cannot interfere in a strike, for example by trying to prevent employees from leaving their workplace or imposing penalties. Employee representatives will also be on strike.

If your employer tries to withhold your right to go on strike, contact the Industrial Union’s employment advice service weekdays from 8.30 am to 3 pm, tel. 020 690 447 or e-mail [email protected].

7. What limits have been placed on the strike?

The following work is not covered by the strike: work to protect human life and health, work to prevent serious environmental hazards, work at company occupational health centres, work at factory fire stations and emergency work.

The Industrial Union’s central strike committee has defined the limits of the strike and notified the head shops stewards at the strike sites of these. Head shop stewards will agree with employers what work is not covered by the strike in accordance within the strike limits.

Strike limit waivers can only be granted by the Industrial Union’s central strike committee. Employers can apply for waivers by e-mail from the strike service.

8. Is strike pay paid for the strike?

Yes. Strike pay is 100 euros for shifts in the shift system. 16 euros of strike pay is tax-free. 40% tax is deducted from the remainder and paid to the tax authority. Members receive 66.40 euros. You don’t need to provide a tax card.

If the shifts in the shift system is 10 hours the strike pay will be multiplied by 1.25 and if the shift is 12 hours the strike pay is multiplied by 1.5.

Only union members are entitled to strike pay. Members who joined the Industrial Union no later than 10 February 2023 can get strike pay.

9. How do I apply for strike pay?

Apply for strike pay via eServices on the Industrial Union website. Log on to the service using your personal online banking codes.

Strike pay can be applied for at the earliest on Monday 20 February and no later than 29 March. Payment is made around one week from the time of application.

If you don’t see the “Strike pay” button after login, check that you have entered your operating location in your personal details in eServices. If after this you still don’t find the “Strike pay” button, send an e-mail to [email protected].

Note: strike pay can only be applied for via eServices on the Industrial Union website. It can’t be applied for via eServices on the Industrial Unemployment Fund website.

10. Where can I get more information on the strike?

You can get more information about the strike from your shop steward, the union’s employment advice service tel. 020 690 447 weekdays from 8.30 am to 3 pm or e-mail [email protected].

11. Will the Industrial Union’s pay rise demands ruin competitiveness?

No. Finland can afford pay rises because we have stayed competitive. Pay rises won’t harm our competitiveness because wages are going up in competitor countries too.

12. Will industrial action make companies go bankrupt or move abroad?

It’s easy to use industrial action as a scapegoat to construct all sorts of worst-case scenarios. Giving in to scare tactics would mean renouncing the fundamental right to pursue and defend workers’ interests and status, including by industrial action if necessary.