Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, talked to members of the public during a campaign event at Railway Square in Helsinki on Sunday, 17 March 2019. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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ANTTI RINNE, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, has come under criticism from the heads of employer organisations for calling for the re-instatement of the national incomes policy agreements, or so-called tupo agreements.

Rinne on Sunday urged the Confederation of Finnish Industries to re-incorporate centralised bargaining into its toolkit.

“We have to get back to the road of agreement and co-operation,” he stated in a speech before the party council of the Social Democratic Party. “Also wage earners have new needs in the changing working life, and going forward people must be put first in developing the laws governing working life.”

“Tripartite co-operation is our best way to overcome the challenges of economic turbulence and technological change,” declared Rinne.

“Rinne is calling for the re-instatement of tupo agreements,” interpreted Minna Helle, the head of industrial relations at the Technology Industries of Finland. “At a time when global price competition is intensifying and agility and flexibility are crucial for businesses, this is like burying your head in the sand.”

“A new system of co-operation can be created by strengthening workplace-level trust and bargaining,” she viewed.

Jyrki Hollmén, the director of labour market affairs at Finnish Forest Industries Federation, stated that tupo agreements will continue to cast a shadow over the society in the form of structural unemployment.

“You simply can’t succeed in the open and international shared-currency economy of the 2020s with the closed planned economy and devaluation of the 1970s,” he slammed on Twitter.

Tupo, an acronym for tulopoliittinen kokonaisratkaisu, refers to a tripartite accord between the government, trade union confederations and employer organisations that covers a wide range of economic and social issues such as taxes, pensions, wage hikes and unemployment benefits.

EK introduced new rules to shift towards union-specific bargaining following the adoption of the competitiveness pact of the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in 2016. “Tupo agreements are part of a past where we will never go back to,” Ilkka Oksala, the head of labour market affairs at EK, tweeted on Sunday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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