Kuva Suomen eduskuntatalosta kesällä

Protests in member companies of Technology Industries of Finland – Finnish trade unions have initiated industrial actions

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) has started organizing industrial actions against the government's labor market reforms. Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro organized walk-outs in Technology Industries member companies from September 26 to October 12.

The Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions SAK has initiated organizational actions against Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's government's labor market reforms. These measures were implemented for three days a week over a period of three weeks, from September to October.

The action days began on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro organized one-hour-long walk-outs, including outside member companies of Technology Industries.

SAK has announced that the style of "pointed protests" will vary from marches to different forms of demonstrations. The actions of member unions will be published collectively at www.sak.fi/liittotoimet. Currently, there is no precise information on whether there will be further actions in the technology industry later on.

The need for reforms is now tangible

These labor actions are a protest against the reforms agreed in the government program. The government is implementing legal changes to reform Finland's labor market in a direction that enhances competitiveness and economic growth.

– These reforms are in line with Finland's key competitor countries, and Finnish labor markets also need to be updated to meet the needs of the 2020s. For example, improving labor peace and increasing local bargaining contribute to the operating conditions, growth, and ability to succeed in international markets for companies in the sector. This will also benefit employees, says Director Johanna Laine of Technology Industries of Finland.

Political labor actions are legal labor dispute measures and are not currently restricted in any way. Employees now have the right to participate in them during working hours as well. Political strikes are part of the organizational policy pursued by labor unions and were last seen during the government  of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's government.

– It is regrettable in this situation that even though the target of the demonstration is the government, the ones primarily affected by the measures are employers who have recently negotiated working conditions together with employees. Political labor actions and the harm they cause to workplaces underscore the need for reforms, Laine notes.

The page has been updated between September 30th and October 18th.