New members flock to join trade unions


The trade unions are attracting significantly more new members since the Government announced its latest plans for austerity measures and the decision to limit the scope for freedom of agreement when it comes to labour market negotiations. Figures for new members became apparent immediately after the Government plans become public on 8 September.

Organising level remains high

As of to date, these union figures, concerning newly joined members, only reflect what has been recorded on the internet. It is expected that many others will join in the more conventional way – by filling out a form.

Trade Union Pro is attracting more than a hundred new members a day on the web, says Sector Chief Annemarje Salonen. This is as much as on a normal week last year. The number of members quitting Pro remains at existing levels, some people per day. Pro has some 120,000 members.

Membership of the Trade Union of Education OAJ has been going in both directions, says Director of Organisational Affairs Pasi Pesonen. But the number of those who joined during one week is triple in comparison with the teachers who left the union.  The 120,400 member strong OAJ have had hundreds of new members in one week.

In the Union of Journalists in Finland there has not been any dramatic change in membership. The reason for this may be fairly straightforward: the organising density in this 15,000 member union is already very high, especially among employed journalists. Those who do not yet belong to the union are relatively few.

In general trade union density in Finland is relatively high, at 64.5 per cent. In OECD statistics only Iceland pips Finland in trade union membership.

Helsinki (24.09.2015 – Heikki Jokinen)