SAK terms limiting strike right as assaults on working conditions by govt

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SAK terms limiting strike right as assaults on working conditions by govt

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) condemned newly enacted laws significantly restricting the right to industrial action as highly unwise and inequitable, said a press release.

Employment Conditions Director Heli Puura of the SAK said that recently adopted restrictions on the right to strike will make it harder for organised employees and their unions to be heard.

“These restrictions clear the way for several further assaults on working conditions included in the Government Programme. Limiting political strikes to 24 hours also contravenes binding international treaties that Finland has approved,” she said.

Restricting the right to strike is the first major reduction of employment rights implemented by the Orpo-Purra Government, said SAK, adding that the reform was prepared in haste, and there was no genuine consultation with social partners.

The drafting process also ignored the views of specialists in fundamental and human rights law, it said.

“The legislative package mainly sought to deliver on a long-sustained insistence and requirement of business interests. The government even ignored an intervention addressed by the UN International Labour Organisation to the Minister of Labour in April, seeking renegotiation of the statutory reform with the social partners,” Puura added.

She said that the new law affects the right to collective bargaining by limiting lawful recourse to sympathetic industrial action. This will make it harder for employees to defend and improve their working conditions.

“The provision governing sympathetic industrial action is unclear and open to interpretation. Contrary to the established interpretation of international law, it accepts the financial interests of employers as grounds for limiting sympathetic industrial action,” said the SAK Director.

The new law introduces a manifold increase in fines payable for unlawful strike action. It also imposes an entirely new sanction in the form of a penalty payment for individual employees who take part in an unlawful strike, even when a trade union called the strike.

“The lack of any corresponding increase in fines payable by employers for infringing collective agreements and neglecting their duty of supervision illustrates the inequitable character of the drafting process,” she said.

“The Orpo-Purra Government has charted a course for Finnish employment and labour law that diverges sharply from the Nordic model. There is no telling where this may lead. SAK opposes this erosion of the contractual society,” she added.

The Finnish Parliament approved statutes restricting the right to strike on May 8, 2024.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

3 Comments
  1. EmilySmith says

    The restrictions on the right to strike are a direct assault on the working conditions of employees. It is concerning that the government did not take into account the international treaties that Finland has approved, ultimately limiting the ability of workers to voice their concerns through industrial action.

  2. Hannah Johnson says

    The newly enacted laws significantly restricting the right to strike are highly unwise and inequitable. The restrictions will make it harder for organized employees and their unions to be heard. These measures are seen as several further assaults on working conditions and are in clear violation of international treaties. The government’s rush to implement the reform without proper consultation shows a disregard for employment rights and human rights. The legislation appears to cater mainly to business interests, neglecting the importance of collective bargaining and industrial action for workers’ rights.

  3. EmmaJohnson89 says

    Heli Puura’s strong stance against the newly enacted laws restricting the right to strike is commendable. She highlights the detrimental impact these restrictions will have on organized employees and their unions, making it harder for them to be heard. Puura’s criticism of the government’s hasty and unconsultative approach to implementing these restrictions is valid, as it disregards binding international treaties and the views of legal experts. It’s essential to protect the right to collective bargaining and ensure a fair balance between the interests of employees and business.

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