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Editorial: Employers push for a local agreement even on the hinge side – the trade union movement follows from the side weakly – Editorial

The technology industry monitors the Forest Industry and intends to focus on local, company-specific agreements instead of national collective agreements. Before, the trade union movement would have reacted strongly to the decision, but now it is following inevitable developments finger to mouth.

The forest industry decided to abandon the national collective agreements in October 2020, and a year and a half later the employers’ superpower Technology Technology Industry will follow suit. The point is that industry and employers want to accelerate local agreement, which does not seem to be progressing without the employers ‘organizations’ own decisions.

Technology industry said on Thursday, to transfer responsibility for national collective agreements to a new employers ‘association, the Technology Industry Employers’ Association, from August. The old Technology Industry will continue to operate and serve those companies that want to stay out of collective agreements and make company-specific solutions.

When the Forest Industry made its decision, the trade union movement was expected to react even harshly. No such has been seen, but criticism has remained at the level of speeches. The same can be expected now. Chairman of STTK Antti Palola estimates that the consequences of the Technology Industry decision will only be seen in the next round of contracts, although he anticipates unrest in the labor market. The bigger question is how the Technology Industry’s opponent, the Federation of Finnish Industries, will react to the situation.

Show It seems that the trade union movement is following the change in the structure of the Finnish labor market with a slight finger in its mouth. To the Senate Square, the trade union movement does not seem to be gathering its people, at least for the demonstrations, whether they would get any more. Before this, one would have reacted, but the power of the trade union movement is not the same. This is also indicated by the year-on-year declining membership of the unions.

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Why now? During the past contract round, local agreement has not progressed as desired in the industry, explained the labor market director Minna Helle. Undoubtedly, the industry has also been disappointed that local agreement has not progressed in any way in the government’s employment working groups. It is unlikely to go forward under the current government, although the center, which is left alone in the government, threatens to raise the issue.

With 1,600 member companies, the technology industry is a much more significant player in the labor market than the forest industry. When the Forest Industry made its own decision, the Technology Industry announced that it would not follow suit, at least not immediately. Even now, it presented its decision in a very moderate framework: the trade union movement was praised for its cooperation, there is no general commitment to scrapping, and there is no desire to trample on the interests of employees. Trade unions will continue to play a key role, even as contracts are transferred to the company level.

Managing director Jaakko Hirvolan However, international competition forces wages and other working conditions to be agreed in companies. When the local agreement otherwise does not proceed, the employers have now finally decided on their line. The local contract is pushed through even from the hinge side. Working life has changed in such a way that employers now can also afford their policies – unlike in previous years.

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