SAK and STTK labour confederations: Thousands in Finland say STOP! to cuts in working conditions and welfar

The Finnish SAK and STTK labour confederations arranged a mass demonstration protesting against planned Government cuts in employee rights and social welfare, with an estimated 13 000 protestors taking part in a rally at Senate Square in Helsinki on Thursday 1 February.

SAK President Jarkko Eloranta views the latest Government policy proposals as an assault on employees in many ways.

“The world of work in Finland is now being bullied in an unprecedented way, with legislative changes directly dictated in a Government programme that seeks to undermine employment conditions and social welfare. Implementation of this programme will make people increasingly insecure and powerless at work,” Eloranta insists.

The confederations stress that their strikes and demonstrations are not seeking to bring down the Government, but to call for genuine negotiation in place of a dictatorial approach.

While not disputing the need to adapt the national economy, STTK President Antti Palola strongly objects to the approach taken by the Government.

“These consolidation measures by the Government are unfair and discriminatory. Implementation of the goals set out in the Government programme will increase uncertainty in the world of work, pose a growing challenge to ensuring livelihoods, and prevent the achievement of equal pay objectives. The growth that Finland needs should not be created by undermining working conditions and pursuing a policy of penury,” Palola stresses.

This week will also see major political strikes called in various industries throughout Finland. A total of some 300,000 employees will participate in political strikes called by SAK and STTK.

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