Joining a trade union is an advantage and opportunity to every employee. A membership creates security when everything does not go according to plan in working life. Trade unions negotiate on pay and other work conditions, help their members in the interpretation of laws and contracts, and give free legal aid, if necessary. A member of a trade union also receives occupational lobbying, earnings-related unemployment benefits as well as a shop steward’s and industrial safety delegate’s help at the workplace.
Trade unions also guarantee that many benefits already established in our daily lives, such as 8 hours of working time per day, annual leaves and overtime pay will remain in future. The majority of Finnish wage earners belong to trade unions and to an unemployment fund in their industry. Wage earners’ strength lies in cooperation: in contrast to an individual employee, a representative of thousands or even tens of thousands employees has a much greater impact in the negotiations on the terms of employment.
The Finnish labour market system is based on settlement and conciliation. The basis for Finnish contracts is formed by the working life conventions and recommendations created by the International Labour Organisation. The laws on working life in Finland are the result of sustained influencing by the trade unions. Collaboration is needed among employee and employer organisations, government and other stakeholder groups, so that wage earners’ interests can be effectively developed. Together Finland will be developed into a country, where it is good to work, reside and live for everyone.