News - 15.02.2017 klo 16.29

Decision by EK ignites labour market war

Ann Selin, President of Service Union United PAM, is appalled by the decision of the Board of Directors of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) to terminate all agreements with central organizations. Selin considers the decision to be an irresponsible attempt to scrap the entire Finnish contractual culture. Indeed Selin wonders whether all EK member associations unanimously back the decision.

- Agreements with central organizations constitute a central part of the labour market system. Does EK really want to declare war just as there are finally rays of light in the Finnish economy? Selin asks.

The decision entails scrapping, among others, the holiday pay agreement, the co-operation agreement and the convention. Increasing local agreements has been the objective of both national government and employers.

- Agreements with central organizations have brought agreement on co-operation procedures and the rights of shop stewards. Now that these agreements have been terminated, it is impossible to imagine the trade union movement agreeing to any increase in local agreement.

Selin predicts a difficult negotiating round, with the interests of individual unions taking precedence over common interests. The direct impacts of central organization agreements vary considerably in different industries.

- The decision by EK finally puts paid to any idea that the upcoming individual union negotiating round will be harmonious. Each union will now go into negotiations with its own objectives, which will include all the items in the terminated central organization agreements. EK member associations will now have to take responsibility for that decision at the negotiating table, Selin predicts.






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