Strike picketers in the terminal of Viking Line in Helsinki on 17 March 2023. A third strike by cleaning and property maintenance professionals was averted by a last-minute deal late on Wednesday between Service Union United (PAM) and Real Estate Employer. (Antti Hämäläinen – Lehtikuva)


SERVICE UNION UNITED (PAM) and Real Estate Employers reached an agreement late yesterday evening in their dispute over the terms and conditions of employment for cleaning and property maintenance professionals in Finland.

The breakthrough in what were described as difficult negotiations signals the cancellation of a two-day, 27,000-employee strike that was to take place between Thursday and Friday.

Annika Rönni-Sällinen, the chairperson at PAM, stated yesterday evening that the two-year collective bargaining agreement was not easy to approve even though it improves the pay and terms of employees.

“The negotiations were extremely difficult, and it wasn’t even easy to approve this agreement. I’m nonetheless pleased that we secured euro-denominated pay rises for property services professionals and that, in relative terms, they increase low wages more [than high ones],” she said in a press release published at 10.45pm on Wednesday.

“A lot remains to be done in terms of working conditions and remuneration, however, but the foundation has now been improved.”

The agreement will raise the lowest wages by a total 7.1 per cent from 1,809 euros to 1,938 euros a month over the two years, according to the trade union. Cleaning and property maintenance professionals will receive a 95-euro bump in monthly pay as of 1 May 2023 and a 1.8-per-cent bump on 1 August 2024.

The provisions on working hours were amended to promote employees’ ability to combine working and personal life and to recover from work.

Both labour market organisations had rejected the third compromise proposed by the national conciliator earlier yesterday, but the breakthrough was found in the evening after extensive discussions. Altogether the bargaining process involved months of negotiations and two strikes organised by PAM.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT