Collective agreement negotiations
PAM issues strike warning for facilities services sector
The Executive Committee of Service Union United PAM has decided to issue a strike warning for various sites in the facilities services sector in different parts of Finland. The strikes will begin on 1 March if a collective agreement for cleaners, building managers and janitors has not been reached before then. PAM broke off collective agreement negotiations yesterday.
PAM and Real Estate Employers returned to the negotiating table yesterday Tuesday after a pause in negotiations of almost two weeks.
“The situation in the negotiations yesterday was that the employers retabled their previous proposals and said no to our proposals. On pay rises, there was a promise of a general line only. We stated that we are unable to continue on that basis”, says PAM’s President Ann Selin.
The strike will be implemented at 12 companies in different parts of Finland. It will start at 06.00 on 1 March and end at 06.00 on 3 March. In total around 1100 workers are covered by the strike. The overtime ban announced by PAM on 1 February is still in force.
“We regret any inconvenience caused by the strike to people and the sites that are cleaned and managed. On the other hand, we believe that this will highlight the importance of the work done by cleaners and building managers in everyone’s everyday lives”, Selin says.
Workers in the facilities services sector – cleaners, building managers and janitors – have been very worried by the proposals made by the employers’ federation, for example the removal of Sunday and other working time bonuses. Their worry has been about their incomes. They have also felt that the proposals show what little value employers place on their work. That has angered them.
“As well as rejecting these cuts, our objective is to improve the pay system and the level of pay in the sector. What Real Estate Employers are now proposing will not take the sector forward”, Selin states.
Another bone of contention apart from the negotiations has been that Real Estate Employers are collaborating with a business and training association that claims to represent employees. In this Real Estate Employers are exaggerating the association.
“The employers’ motive in exaggerating like this could be so that we can’t always agree with the employers’ federation when they work with us”, thinks Selin.
PAM is currently negotiating collective agreements for several other private service agreement sectors. The largest ones are the retail sector and the hospitality sector.
“We don’t have difficulties like this in any other sector’s negotiations, even though our objectives might be very different from those of the employers’ federation”, Selin says.
In practice issuing a strike warning means that the National Conciliator invites the parties for conciliation at some point before the strike starts.
The generally binding collective agreement in the facilities services sector covers around 70,000 workers.
PAM's strike homepage is found here with information on the strike locations.