Finland’s trade unions are mobilizing against the new right-wing coalition government’s plan to unilaterally cut pay and benefits negotiated through collective bargaining, and are asking for solidarity and support.
On September 9, after unions refused to agree to the proposals, the government announced a series of measures to be legislated and imposed as collective agreements begin to expire next year. These include substantial reductions in compensation for overtime, weekend and night work, no compensation for the first day of employee sickness and reductions in sick pay for days 2-9, reducing and limiting annual leave to 30 days (5 weeks is the norm in many sectors) and the elimination of two national holidays, which would become working days or unpaid holidays,
Unions estimate that the impact would be a 4-6% reduction in pay, with the impact falling hardest on the most vulnerable, including part-time and women workers.
The national trade union centre SAK, STTK and Akava have called for a mass demonstration on September 18, condemning the proposed legislation as a massive attack on collective bargaining which violates ILO Conventions and international and European human rights instruments.
Please find hereunder a draft letter template to express solidarity to the Finnish unions as well as further practical details to take action.