Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (NCP) has dashed cold water on trade unions’ hopes for wage hikes in the collective bargaining talks scheduled for this autumn.

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A number of trade unions have ramped up their rhetoric ahead of the sector-specific collective bargaining negotiations scheduled for this autumn.

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) has announced that it is pursuing notable wage hikes in the negotiations in an attempt to prevent the competitiveness pact and cuts in holiday pays from eroding the purchasing power of wage earners further.

“We’re talking about increases of several per cent. They’re a way to keep the domestic market healthy,” Päivi Laine-Niemi, the chairperson of JHL, says to Kauppalehti.

The Finnish Industrial Union, which was established in the merger of the Metalworkers’ Union, the Industrial Union (TEAM) and the Woodmakers’ Union earlier in May, has identified raising wages and boosting the purchasing power of its members as a priority for the negotiations. Riku Aalto, the chairperson of the newly-established union, has refrained from setting a specific target for the negotiations and told that the demands will depend on the performance of the companies in each of the sectors.

Similar demands have emanated from the Trade Union Pro and the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK), according to the business-oriented newspaper.

“There’s no way we’ll consent to a third consecutive year of zero wage hikes,” states Kyösti Suokas, the chairperson of the Finnish Construction Trade Union.

The government has shown little sympathy to such demands, reminds Kauppalehti. Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (NCP), for example, has stated that the time is not yet right for wage hikes but hinted that tax concessions may be on the table in the upcoming negotiations.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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