Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland will open its own office in Brussels. In 2016, Akava left the joint Brussels office Finunions of all three Finnish trade union confederations.
The new office will open its doors at the beginning of 2020. In the long run the goal is to build a joint advocacy concept with Akava’s Nordic sister organisations, says Sture Fjäder, President of Akava.
“We do share very similar needs and goals concerning advocacy work. We seek to strengthen cooperation significantly in this endeavour”, Fjäder adds.
And when Akava vacated Finunions, the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN moved in. The latter is Akava’s collective bargaining organisation for the private sector representing 20 Akava unions and 170,000 individual members.
But YTN is soon to move out of Finunions, too, from the beginning of 2020 and establish its new office alongside Akava.
“The education programme Erasmus+ and research programme Horizon have been EU success stories and relevant to our members. The importance of the EU is growing continuously when it comes to working life and education issues”, says YTN President Teemu Hankamäki. “For this reason we are creating a new advocacy with Akava and other partners”, he adds.
Finunions has been present in Brussels since 1991. The other two members are the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK and the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK.
Katja Lehto-Komulainen will start as the new Director of Finunions office 1 September. She is the former Deputy General Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation ETUC.
Akava continues as a member in Eurocadres, the Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff.