The Finnish Industrial Union and Trade Union Pro announced yesterday they will introduce an overtime ban at their workplaces on Monday, 17 September, in protest of a government bill to make laying off easier for small companies.
The overtime ban is the first measure in what is expected to be a series of industrial actions against the much-criticised bill.
The Industrial Union announced late last month it is prepared to take action to pressure the government to scrap the bill, which would allow businesses with no more than 20 employees to lay off employees on personal grounds, and pledge to present no further labour market reforms to the Parliament.
“It is extremely regrettable that the government is jeopardising labour market stability to please a couple of hot-headed business owners. The price for that is that we will unfortunately have to resort to measures that will also hit honest employers who value their staff,” commented Riku Aalto, the chairperson of the Industrial Union.
Trade Union Pro has estimated that the bill would affect up to 30,000 of its members.
The overtime ban, in turn, will have an adverse effect especially on the production of companies, reminds Minna Helle, the head of labour market affairs at the Technology Industries of Finland.
“It is unfortunate that the industrial actions are gnawing away at the foundation of the economic growth that has continued at a nice pace. The order books of companies are full and several companies are faced with a labour shortage, which will only exacerbate the effects of the overtime ban on business activity and delivery reliability,” she says.
Helle also laments that companies have to suffer for what are ultimately political differences of opinion.
“Companies are about to fall victim to political industrial actions for already the second time this year. Companies are bystanders in these circumstances, but they are the surrogate victims as the actions complicate production and delivery reliability. The dent in reputation caused by the industrial actions is real and will create uncertainty about the delivery reliability of Finnish companies,” she adds.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi