Finnish unions mobilise against government attack on employment rights

(16 September 2015) Thousands of Finnish workers are set to join a major demonstration this Friday (18 September) in protest at government plans to cut holiday entitlement, sick leave and overtime pay. All three Finnish trade union confederations are mobilising for the action. Unions are not just angry about the reduction in employee pay and benefits but about the unprecedented government intervention in the collective bargaining system. The government proposals include: - Setting a maximum of 30 days for paid leave; - Cutting two paid bank holidays; - Making the first day of sick leave unpaid; and - Reducing overtime supplements from 50% to 25% and supplements for Sunday working from 100% to 50%. Public service union JHL estimates that 60%-70% of public sector workers would lose out from the 30-day limit on annual leave. The union also argues that low paid women in the health sector will be one of the groups most affected by the cuts in overtime and Sunday payments. The union has also noted a groundswell of anger among workers with a surge in recruitment of new members. The unions have set up an online petition and are trying to mobilise more broadly for the protest as they believe that many outside the union movement will also find the proposed measures and the government's unilateral action unacceptable. Read more in English at [JHL->] and [Pardia->]. EPSU’s affiliates in Finland are: AKT (transport), Jyty ry (public and private employees), JHL (public services), SuPer (practical nurses), Tehy (health and social care professionals), Pardia (government and agencies salaried staff) and Talentia (social services).
- [for an update->] (30 September 2015)