Finland on the global scene

The position of Finnish employees is determined in various ways through international cooperation and the global economy.


Many Finnish employers operate internationally, and legislation concerning working life is often prepared through international operators such as the EU and the ILO. In addition, many aspects concerning the status of employees, such as immigration and climate change, no longer comply with national borders, so the importance of international cooperation in the development of working life keeps growing.


Access to employment is essential for the integration of immigrants. Immigrants typically work in low-paid jobs in the private service sector. There are also a large number of highly qualified experts, but it is often difficult for immigrants to be selected for jobs that correspond to their educational background. Degrees completed abroad are often not recognised in Finland.

Atypical employment relationships are particularly common among immigrants. Finding a job is especially difficult for immigrant women, and their attendance in working life should be increased to facilitate integration and improve the employment rate.

STTK promises to support the inclusion of immigrant women in Finnish working life. We provide immigrants with information about the rules of working life and employees’ rights and obligations. We promote the equal treatment of employees in the workplace.

Climate change

Climate change has become a focus of international cooperation, and it is already affecting national economies and policies in many ways. This necessitates changes in working life, but it also creates opportunities for investment and jobs in new sectors.

To maintain employment, it is important to anticipate what types of competence, training and security are needed in the transition to a low-carbon society. The impacts of climate policy measures and the means to promote employment must be identified in cooperation with working life.

The international rules of working life

STTK is a member of several international organisations whose work to promote fair pay and a fair working life also concerns Finnish employees, directly or indirectly.

Finland joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1920 and has adopted a number of the ILO’s conventions and recommendations along with the other Nordic countries. For decades, Finnish labour legislation has been built on the fundamental principles of working life based on the ILO’s conventions. These include the protection of employees, the favourability rule, which enables better agreements, and freedom of association, as well as the right to collective bargaining.

The European Union has a wide impact on Finnish society and working life. The evolving legislation concerning working life and the strengthening of the EU’s agreement and negotiation system (social dialogue) supplement the safeguarding of Finnish employees’ interests and give them rights across the EU. The EU is also an instrument for influencing global issues such as the fight against climate change and the causes of refugee migration. Finland is too small to create solutions to these issues on its own.

The interests of Finnish employees are safeguarded in Brussels by FinUnions, the joint mission of SAK and STTK, and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

We cooperate closely with Nordic trade unions on various international issues. We are also a member of the Council of Nordic Trade Unions.

As a member of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which was established in 2006, STTK participates in discussing global issues.