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Sampo Terho, the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports, says the way in which earnings-related unemployment security is currently funded is unjust and indefensible.
Sampo Terho, the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports, says the way in which earnings-related unemployment security is currently funded is unjust and indefensible.

 

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Union’s (SAK) reaction to a proposal to extend earnings-related unemployment security to all unemployed people is baffling, says Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports.

Earnings-related unemployment security is currently available only to the unemployed who are members of an unemployment fund or a trade union running an unemployment fund.

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Terho points out in a blog that only five per cent of the funding of such funds is derived from membership fees, while the remaining 95 per cent is collected from citizens and businesses by means of mandatory taxes and social security contributions. He adds that he is baffled by the arguments against the proposal, which was made a few weeks ago by the Blue Reform.

“SAK, in particular, has made some utterly dreadful counter-arguments, which are summarised by the comment given by the deputy chairperson of SAK, Matti Huutola, to YLE on 9 March: ‘We see this as an attack against the trade union movement’,” writes Terho.

He says he recognises that some trade unions have used unemployment funds as a means to increase their membership but argues that the way in which earnings-related unemployment security is currently funded is outright unjust and indefensible.

SAK, he adds, is apparently prepared to torpedo a proposal that would improve the rights of the unemployed because it believes the proposal would undermine its position.

“I feel compelled to ask the question: is SAK primarily interested in protecting the benefits of the unemployed or its position of power?” writes Terho.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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