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Press release

Trade Union Pro issues a strike warning to technology companies

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 17:28
The export industry is once again threatened by extensive strikes. In the technology industry, Trade Union Pro has issued a strike warning concerning the salaried employees in technology industries. The strike is scheduled to start at 00:00 on 27 January. Trade Union Pro’s key objective with the strike is to pressure employers to reduce working hours by 24 hours, or to eliminate the extra hours introduced by the competitiveness pact.

Jarkko Ruohoniemi, Technology Industries of Finland Director of Industrial Relations in charge of negotiations with Trade Union Pro, laments the union’s stance. At the same time, he wonders whether Pro members actually want to join a strike and hinder the operations of their workplaces.

“When the provisions of the competitiveness pact and the included extension of working hours were agreed, the goal was not to improve competitiveness only temporarily. The extra hours were meant to be permanent. In terms of employment, it is very disheartening to learn that the labour market now knowingly wants to undo the good progress of the past few years”, Ruohoniemi says.

“The new collective agreement for employees in technology industries no longer sets forth previsions for extended working hours, which is disappointing. Employers were forced to give in because, in that agreement, the extension had been recorded in separate minutes regarding termination of employment. At the same time, the salary increase level achieved through the negotiations has risen to an extreme level in terms of competitiveness and employment. As such, the salary increase level achieved with that agreement cannot be exceeded without causing major harm to employment and impairing companies’ chances of succeeding in an extremely competitive environment”, Ruohoniemi says.

According to Ruohoniemi, everyone in Finland would benefit from maintaining extended working hours and ensuring that Finland remains competitive. Working hours in Finland are relatively short compared to its competing countries.

"The negotiations are about jobs in Finland and not about who is the best labour union leader. It is important we keep this in mind since economic growth is slowing down and there have been no improvements in employment in the past year. Labour market decisions must not cause any further difficulties”, Ruohoniemi concludes.

Trade Union Pro initiated an overtime and shift-trading ban covering the entire technology industry on 10 January. The ban has been announced to continue throughout January.

For further information, please contact:
Jarkko Ruohoniemi, Director, Industrial Relations, tel. 040 833 9577 (Pro)