Finland has a long and successful tradition of social dialogue between trade unions, employers and the government. But the country’s new government is tearing up this social contract.
After Finland’s parliamentary elections in April 2023, a new right-wing coalition – that includes the extreme-right party True Finns – formed around an aggressive anti-worker programme.
First, they attack the right to strike, with increased strike fines, a reduced duration of political strikes and limitation of secondary strikes.
Second, they undermine trade unions’ bargaining power, the shop steward’s position and the binding nature of collective agreements.
Third, they cut down the welfare state, reducing social benefits for the low-income wage-earners, unemployed persons, pensioners, children and families.
We cannot accept this – and we won’t.
The Finnish trade union movement is fighting back with mobilisations all across the country. And we, UNI Europa together with the ETUC and all the unions across Europe, join our Finnish colleagues in opposing the government’s anti-worker plans.
As the European Union is pushing for more collective bargaining, the Finnish government and employers do the opposite. Rather than moving towards Europe, they move away.
We call on the Finnish government to change course, get back to the negotiating table with the trade unions, and abandon its vicious anti-worker programme.