Working life in Finland has taken a turn for the better in the last three years according to a general study on Finnish working life, published a week ago by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health FIOH. The study is based on telephone interviews with some 3,000 people and is conducted every three years.
Recent measures taken by Nokia have prompted many people to ask whether it is using other companies to do its dirty work when it comes to firing employees. "There is a pattern where employees are outsourced with some part of the business to another company, which will then quickly fire them on the grounds of re-organising production. One has to ask whether redundancy has become a business", says Maria Löfgren, director at Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff.
Experts from the three union confederations in Finland (Akava, SAK, STTK) have delivered harsh criticism to the European Union for repeatedly breaching the freedom of collective bargaining. They refer to recent cases where the European Commission has intervened in the bargaining procedures in Romania, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Italy and weakened the position of unions.
The hiring of temporary labour (agency labour) gained acceptance and a sense of legitimacy back in the 1990’s when Finland was going through a period of severe recession. This form of employment, which had shown a marked increase at that point, was seen in the media first and foremost as a solution to the problem of high unemployment.
The Trade union solidarity centre of Finland SASK is campaigning alongside the Finnish section of Amnesty International for trade union rights. The new campaign got underway on Monday 22nd April and focuses on the situation in Colombia.