The Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union on Saturday turned down a proposal to settle a dispute over the terms and conditions of employment for electricians in Finland, confirming the launch of a week-long strike by an estimated 2,500 electricians at 6am on Monday.
The settlement proposal was tabled by Deputy National Conciliator Jukka Ahtela.
“The employers have adopted an inflexible and hard-line strategy for the negotiations based on the government’s decisions,” says Sauli Väntti, the chairperson of the Electrical Workers’ Union.
“This is hurting companies, the views of which have been ignored too much by employer organisations. It was impossible to approve the settlement proposal […] because developing the terms and conditions of employment and the collective bargaining agreement would have become dependent solely on the willingness of employers,” he adds in a press release.
The strike is scheduled to continue until 6am on Monday, 16 April, affecting over a dozen companies represented by Service Sector Employers (Palta) including Are, Aro Systems, Bravida Finland, Caverion Suomi and Consti Talotekniikka.
The Electrical Workers’ Union has also announced additional industrial actions targeting the member companies of Palta and Electrotechnical Employers’ Union (STTA). The industrial actions are scheduled to begin on 17 May.
“This dispute over the terms and conditions of employment cannot be settled at the office of the National Conciliator. I invite Palta and STTA to the negotiating table,” says Väntti.
Esa Larsén, the managing director of STTA, blames the Electrical Workers’ Union and its insistence on cancelling the previously-agreed 24-hour increase in annual working time for the collapse of the conciliation process. The settlement proposal, he views, was well-balanced and in line with the collective agreements adopted in other sectors.
He also gauges that the strike will damage companies in the sector, their employees and customers to an extent that is disproportionate to the proposed 24-hour increase in annual working time.
The collective bargaining negotiations have been deadlocked after the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union abandoned the negotiations on 20 February, 2018.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi