Finland -Negotiations continue as government insists on reduction in unit labour costs -October 03, 2015

After large-scale protests reported in last month’s newsletter, the government and social partners are back to the table over revised legislative proposals. Originally, the government had proposed legislative changes, which would reduce the length of annual leave, making the first day of sick leave unpaid and cut two bank holidays, Sunday and overtime pay. Mass protests and trade unions demonstrating that cutting Sunday and overtime pay would disproportionally hit low-wage workers and women, led to new proposals. Under the new proposals, the cut in Sunday and overtime pay has been replaced by a 30% cut in annual leave pay. In order to do so, annual leave would have to be taken out of the realm of collective bargaining, passed as a national law and then reduced. Meanwhile, the government has invited the social partners to come up with an alternative plan that would lead to a similar five per cent reduction in unit labour costs. Trade unions Akava, SAK and STTK are negotiating with employers’ federation EK, but face a difficult fight, because the government proposals match closely with employer demands.


For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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