The Union Congress

The Union Congress 2023

The Industrial Union’s supreme decision-making body is the Union Congress, which convenes every five years. The next Union Congress will take place in Tampere from 22 to 24 May 2023. Elections will be held from 10 to 31 March 2023 to elect 442 representatives to the Union Congress.

Union Congress elections

  • Full members set up a constituency association, which has one candidate. At least 10 signatories (the candidate and nine others), all of whom must be from the same constituency. The candidate must be available for the labour market.
  • Constituency associations may form an electoral alliance with candidates in the constituency. The groupings (electoral alliances) currently active in the Union’s administration are an alliance between the Social Democrats and independent candidates known as Yhteistyön Tekijät and a grouping of the Left Alliance and independent candidates known as Teollisuuden Vaikuttajat.
  • All candidates are nominated either by an electoral alliance or a constituency association outside an electoral alliance.
  • Full members who are available to the labour market in their local branch may vote for candidates in their constituencies from 10 to 31 March 2023, either by electronic voting or a postal vote.

Establishment of constituency associations

A constituency association may be established by at least 10 members who have paid their membership subscriptions for at least three months before the lists of candidates are submitted. The constituency association selects a candidate from among its members. The founders of a constituency association must belong to the same constituency. Each member may only belong to one constituency association.

Each constituency association may only have one candidate eligible to stand for election. Nominated candidates must consent to their candidacy in writing. The constituency association must elect a representative and deputy representative from among its members.

Establishment and number of candidates of electoral alliances

The maximum number of candidates in an electoral alliance is two times the number of representatives in a constituency plus one candidate for every 1,000 members in the constituency, rounded up to the nearest 1,000. The candidates of the electoral alliance are placed in the combined candidate lists in alphabetical order by constituency.

Eligibility to stand for election

All full members of local branches who are available to the labour market are entitled to stand as candidates and vote in elections of Union Congress representatives. The concept of “available to the labour market” means that the person is:

  • an employee or unemployed jobseeker between 15 and 68 years of age
  • an entrepreneur member
  • receiving a partial pension
  • a full member exempt from the rules governing membership subscriptions, provided that they satisfy one of the points above

Constituencies

The constituencies for the Technology Industry and Technical Servicing and Maintenance workplaces are the same as the constituencies used in the Finnish general election of 2019. The national division of constituencies shall apply to the other agreement sectors.

Technology Industry and Technical Servicing and Maintenance

Constituency

Number of candidates*

Number of representatives (1 for every 300, rounded up)

01 Helsinki 19 8
02 Uusimaa 56 24
03 Finland Proper 76 33
04 Satakunta 44 19
05 Tavastia 51 22
06 Pirkanmaa 62 27
07 Southeast Finland 37 16
08 Savonia-Karelian 51 22
09 Vaasa 62 27
10 Central Finland 35 15
11 Oulu 56 24
12 Lapland 19 8
13 Åland 3 1

National constituencies

Constituency

Number of candidates*

Number of representatives (1 for every 300, rounded up)

14 Mining 12 5
15 Sheet and industrial insulation industry 10 4
16 Mechanical forestry industry and bio industry 74 32
17 Carpentry sector 42 18
18 Car sector and engineering 62 27
19 Plastics and chemical products industries, boatbuilding sector, brushmaking sector 65 28
20 Chemical basic industry 26 11
21 Glass and ceramics, employees of Fiskars Finland Oy Ab, precious metals, glazing, construction glazing, and glassmaking 17 7
22 Oil, gas and petrochemical products industry 12 5
23 Rubber industry 12 5
24 Footwear and leather industry 7 3
25 Car tyre sector 7 3
26 Media and printing sector 30 13
27 Textile industry 21 9
28 Forestry, plant nursery branch 10 4
29 Forestry machinery, peat industry 10 4
30 Delivery personnel, direct mail delivery 10 4
31 Textiles services sector 9 4
32 Horticultural and landscaping sector 10 4
33 Salaried employees in graphical industry (Grafinet) 7 3
34 Allied rural industries, fur industry 7 3

*Maximum number of candidates for a single electoral alliance: 1,031

People entitled to vote

The people entitled to vote are the full members of local branches who have paid their membership subscriptions for at least three months before the first day of the voting period and who can provide proof thereof upon request or those who are on the list of people entitled to vote.

Local branch members who are fully retired on an old-age pension or disability pension are not entitled to vote.

All members entitled to vote will be sent proof of their right to vote in the election on the basis of the information in the Union’s register of members.

Responsibility of local branches for the voting rights of their members

  • The local branches are responsible for checking the personal data provided by their members and verifying membership according to the list of people entitled to vote, which is sent by the Union according to the information available at the time. The local branches must correct any incorrect information in the Union’s register of members as specified by the Union’s central board of elections.

Responsibility of members for their right to vote

  • In order to ensure they receive the election material, members should check their membership and address details in the Union’s online service or by contacting their local branch, regional centre, or the membership unit at the central office, especially if they suspect that the Union has an incomplete or incorrect address for them.

Members can vote electronically or by postal vote. Each person entitled to vote may only use one voting method. If a person entitled to vote has inadvertently used electronic and postal voting, the electronic vote shall take precedence.

Electronic voting

People entitled to vote may use the electronic voting system from 9 am on 10 March 2023 to midday on 31 March 2023.

Postal voting

People entitled to vote may send a postal ballot from 10 to 31 March 2023. The return envelope containing the ballot paper must arrive at the address indicated by the Union’s central board of elections by midday on the final day of voting. Any envelopes received after this will be invalid.

Voting events at local branches

The board of each local branch decides whether to hold any events to boost voter turnout and provide facilities for electronic voting.

If the local branch decides to hold a voting event, it must list the workplaces within the local branch’s sphere of operations in good time before establishing election committees and establish a central election committee for the local branch, as well as the necessary number of workplace-specific and rotating election committees based on the list. The central election committee of a local branch may also be its only election committee.

If there are several local branches in one municipality or workplace, they may establish joint election committees. The board of the local branch must notify the Union office of any voting events and the details of the election committees operating in them.

The local branch’s central election committee must meet with the other election committees at the local branch to prepare a polling station register in accordance with the instructions of the Union’s central board of elections and a detailed plan for implementing electronic voting.

The election committees of the local branch must announce the times of voting events in a mutually agreed manner that is deemed effective and in line with the requirements of the Union’s central board of elections.

The voting events held by local branches should be arranged in such a way that as many people as possible have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

No election-related material shall be allowed at the polling station except for the election material decided upon by the Union’s central board of elections. Members shall cast their votes in voting booths to protect their privacy. The election committee must ensure that voters can preserve the secrecy of their ballots under all circumstances.