Overtime ban has begun – major impacts on exports and production
“At this stage, it is impossible to give a figure in euros for the losses incurred by businesses and society. However, the disruption to exports will be significant and increase as the situation drags on. This is unfortunate at a time when exports are finally growing and business’s order books are strong. Many workplaces have agreed on working overtime because companies are suffering from a skill shortage and deliveries must be made, even during times of peak demand, within the customer's desired time frame,” says Minna Helle, Executive Director, Industrial Relations at Technology Industries of Finland.
Technology Industries of Finland asked its member companies about the effects of the overtime ban on their activities. The responses clearly show how sensitive production processes are and how closely interconnected companies’ production chains are with those of their customers.
“Production continuity may be placed at serious risk if, for example, a key employee falls ill, and a replacement cannot be used due to the overtime ban. Delivery schedules are carefully timed, since warehouses are no longer used and components go directly to the customer's assembly line. In addition, longer hours are frequently worked during downtimes, so that repairs can be done quickly,” Helle explains.
Helle points out that companies are making every effort to prevent or minimise the inconvenience to customers. Exceptional arrangements of this kind also impose costs on businesses.
“Concerns about customers can be seen in the responses from customers. Companies are now frantically wondering how to fulfil their customer promises. Unfortunately, the industrial dispute is also raising the question of what kind of place Finland is for investments and establishing businesses. Customers expect 100% security of supply,” Helle states.
The overtime ban by the Finnish Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro is a political dispute designed to pressurise the Government into dropping its plans for reducing redundancy protection in companies with under 20 employees. The export sectors affected by the industrial action had hoped that a solution to the dispute would be found through dialogue, without hampering business and exports. The bill is still under preparation and a definitive decision has not been made on its content.
Minna Helle, Executive Director, Industrial Relations, tel. +358 (0)50 341 4884