The fate of the negotiations for a so-called social contract hinges on employers and the Government, states Lauri Lyly, the president of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK).
SAK reminded after a meeting of its executive board that its settlement proposal expired on Monday. “SAK will from now on re-evaluate its objectives if the negotiations were to start over at some point,” Lyly says in a press release issued after the meeting on Monday.
The settlement proposal would have all but waived wage hikes in 2017 and allowed export industries to determine wage hikes in 2018. The proposal, however, is no longer on the table.
SAK would have also been prepared to transfer a number of social security contributions from the shoulders of employers to those of wage earners on the condition that the Government withdrew its coercive revisions to the terms and conditions of employment. It had also proposed the adoption of a new system to determine holiday pays that would have adjusted holiday pays to economic fluctuations.
The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) terminated the negotiations for a social contract after the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT) announced its decision to walk out of the talks.
The initiative to re-commence the negotiations and withdraw the proposed legislative changes and spending cuts is now in the hands of EK and the Government, according to Lyly. “EK seems disinterested in sitting down at the negotiating table until the coercive legislative package has been withdrawn,” he estimates.
“The unions will also take into account the effects of the coercive laws while drawing up their objectives for the next round of bargaining talks.”
Teemu Luukka – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
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Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa