STTK: Useless to long for a watering down of Finnish labour market and collective agreement model


Helsinki 12.06.2020 – Heikki Jokinen

STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals is quite alarmed by the views being expressed right now which are reminiscent of the 1990s when the goal was to make wage and salary earners poorer and the trade union movement weaker.

Using the corona exit as a pretext, vigorous moves are being put forward that have nothing to do with how to survive the crisis, says STTK President Antti Palola.

“Leaders of business demand the right for free local level agreements and to make management rights stronger. There are demands to cut labour costs and dismantle structural rigidity. The willingness to once again weaken unemployment security and terms of work and raise the retirement age are being veiled as a renewal of the system.”

STTK Board is adamantly opposed to any such changes. “The cornerstone of advocacy is now and in the future a system based on the generally binding collective agreements and shop stewards. We must be able to develop working life without employers’ unilateral dictating and a continuous gnawing of the security of those in the weakest position”, Palola adds.

STTK wishes to remind everyone that throughout the corona crisis – which happened very suddenly – the Finnish labour market model showed its flexibility, contrary to what was claimed.

Immediately in March, when the corona crisis was becoming acute, the labour market organisations negotiated very swift proposals on how to temporarily change labour and social security rules to be more flexible, Palola says. Another package was negotiated in May.

“This shows that the system works flexibly, and is quick and balanced, when necessary. The claims of rigidity do not reflect reality, but support certain ideologies.”

Read more: Labour market organisations propose to provisionally make the temporarily lay-offs more flexible and unemployment security stronger 20.03.2020