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Serious grounds to act!

Now there’s serious grounds to act!

PAM is campaigning for unemployment security. The Orpo-Purra Government intends to make deep cuts to unemployment allowance. These cuts affect women and families with children. That is not acceptable!

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Last updated: 14.11.2023

PAM strikes in opposition to anti-worker policies of Orpo-Purra Government

The Government’s proposals undermine the fundamental principles of labour law, make it harder for workers to promote their interests, and erode rights.

The Government has refused genuine dialogue with workers and the trade union movement. Dictating terms is not acceptable. By industrial action we demand that the Government start genuine negotiations with workers.

Erosion of working conditions

  • No pay for the first day of sick leave
  • Job alternation leave abolished “Relevant grounds” are enough to dismiss an employee
  • Conditions below the statutory standard may be agreed at workplaces with no shop steward
  • Special grounds for temporary employment only required when the job lasts for longer than one year
  • Hampering settlement of industrial disputes by limiting the powers of the national conciliator
  • A shortened period of layoff notice
  • No duty to re-engage dismissed workers in businesses with fewer than 50 employees

Restrictions on the right to strike

  • Restrictions on sympathetic and political strike action
  • A €200 fine for individual strikers when a strike is found to be illegal
  • A dramatic increase in union strike fines

Cuts in social welfare

  • Child supplements abolished in unemployment benefit
  • Earnings-related unemployment benefit already reduced after two months
  • A prolonged waiting period for unemployment benefit
  • Wage-subsidised employment no longer counting towards the employment condition for earnings-related benefit
  • A longer employment condition for earnings-related benefit
  • An employment condition based on prior earnings instead of working time
  • Cuts in housing allowance
  • Eligibility for unemployment benefit to begin only after phasing of outstanding holiday compensation
  • Obstacles to eligibility for social assistance
  • Abolition of the increased parental allowance rate payable for the first 16 ordinary weekdays
  • Abolition of the unemployment benefit and housing allowance portions that are protected during part-time working
  • Abolition of adult education benefit
  • Cuts in benefits for unemployed elderly workers

Strikes are legal

The SeriousGrounds strikes are legal political strikes, that aim to influence political decision-makers when their decisions impact workers professional, social and economic status. Workers have a right to take part in collective industrial action without fear of repercussions.

The Government takes from workers and the unemployed

Employees will feel increasingly insecure, as protection against dismissal and unemployment security are both eroded at the same time.

This is the aim of the Orpo-Purra Government Programme:

  • The Government intends to increase the number of fixed-term employment relationships, as there would no longer be an obligation to present special grounds for temporary employment. This change might lead to a cycle of fixed-term contracts.
  • The Government wants to punish people for falling ill, as it plans to add a waiting day to the sickness period, i.e. to withhold pay for the first day of illness. The waiting day would in practice mean that people work even though they are ill, as they cannot afford to stay home.
  • In addition to the above, the Government intends to shorten the lay-off notice period, weaken the re-employment obligation, water down the Act on co-operation, increase local bargaining and undermine the employees’ influencing opportunities.

If implemented, many of the cuts bear down on the same people.

This is the aim of the Orpo-Purra Government Programme:

  • Deterioration of the adjusted daily allowance for unemployment would mean income problems for many temporary employees. At worst, this could mean that it would no longer be possible or even sensible to take on temporary employment.
  • Abolition of the earnings reduction of €300, the so-called “protection component”, from the housing allowance, will decrease incentives for accepting atypical employment offers.
  • Furthermore, the Government plans to abolish both the adult education benefit and the job alternation leave, raise living costs by increasing VAT, erode social assistance and cut the labour market support for foreign language speakers.

Weaker incentive to take on extra work

A large number of temporary workers and people dismissed from low-wage jobs will move from relying on unemployment benefit and housing allowance to relying on basic social assistance → thereby the incentive for taking on extra work will weaken.

Living in bigger cities no longer economically viable

With the high level of rents in cities, especially Helsinki, living and working will become increasingly challenging, if the housing allowance is cut.

Unemployment security, especially earnings-related benefits, are to be significantly weakened. The plan is to implement almost all of the cuts in 2024. 

This is the aim of the Orpo-Purra Government Programme:

  • Erosion of the unemployment security drives the unemployed into unreasonable income difficulties. Cuts planned by the Government include gradual decreases to the unemployment benefit, abolition of child supplements, phasing out of holiday compensations, abolition of the exempt amounts coupled with euro-based work requirement, longer waiting period and prolongment of the work requirement.
  • Due to the gradual decrease of the earnings-related security, the earnings-related benefit period would last only 8 weeks for many employees in the service sector.
  • Those working with a work-based residence permit are going to be punished for unemployment, as the Government aims to deport them from Finland after three months of unemployment.
  • In addition, the Government plans to undermine the re-employment obligation, weaken social assistance and end age-related exceptions to the unemployment security. If age discrimination does not stop, these measures will push the elderly unemployed towards labour market support.

Income security cut or abolished

The prolongment of the work requirement, the euro-based approach and the gradual decrease of the unemployment benefit would shorten the income security period or abolish it totally for many part-time workers in the service sector.

This is the aim of the Orpo-Purra Government Programme:

  • With the restrictions on the right to strike, the Government wants to restrain the workers’ freedom of speech. This would also mean that an individual taking part in a few minutes’ protest might have to face a personal fine, and the organiser of the protest could be issued a disproportionately massive fine.
  • The Government tries to hamper the contractual rights of trade unions by limiting the power of the national conciliator. This change would cement the wage differences between sectors.
  • Through local bargaining, the Government would wreck the collective bargaining system, if the change would limit the involvement of shop stewards in the negotiations.
  • Many intentions of the Government would weaken the employees’ abilities to defend their rights and compromise their right to disagree with the employer, as the employee would have to fear dismissal without serious grounds and weak unemployment security.
  • Furthermore, the Government intends to shorten notification period for temporary lay-offs, weaken the Act on Co-operation and hamper the employees’ opportunities to wield influence.

Many cuts hit particularly hard low-paid and unemployed women.

This is the aim of the Orpo-Purra Government Programme:

  • 61% of those receiving adjusted daily allowance for unemployment are women. This means that the cut would take a significant portion of income away from low-paid women.
  • 70% of employees who have used alternation leave are women, so abolishing the alternation leave system affects primarily women.
  • The Government intends to decrease the family leave compensation paid for employers of female employees from current €2,500 to €1,500.
  • Temporary employment relationships are already more common among women, and now the aim is to increase them.
  • 76% of adult education recipients were women in 2022, and one third of the recipients used it for studies in the female-dominated social sector.
  • The export-driven labour market model may, in worst case, increase the wage gaps between male- and female-dominated industries.
  • The obligation imposed on the national conciliator to not to make conciliation proposals that go beyond the general line will prevent narrowing the wage gaps.
  • Development aid cuts will affect the women in the recipient countries.

This is how you can participate

  1. Share information
    Talk about government’s measures at your workplace. We have put together materials that you can freely share or refer to. This includes a list of cuts, which you can print out or share digitally.
  2. Take part in the events
    Take part in events, sign petitions and attend demonstrations organized by PAM and other unions. In a democratic society you have the right to protest and to take part in industrial action decided your union.
  3. Make your voice heard
    Share, like and comment on social media under the #SeriousGrounds and #PainavaSyy hashtags.
  4. Join PAM
    Together we are stronger! If you’re not yet a PAM member, now is time to join and recommend our membership to your colleagues too.

Now more than ever strong trade union representation is needed. Let’s build a better future together!

PAM campaign for unemployment security

The Orpo-Purra government is planning to erode unemployment security. The Government is planning major reductions in the unemployment allowance, for example by abolishing the exempt amount for adjusted unemployment benefit and child increments, extending the prior work requirement, and reinstating the phasing of holiday compensation.

The Government’s intentions undermine the livelihoods of those receiving earnings-related or adjusted unemployment allowance. The planned cuts will have an unreasonable impact on service workers, especially women and families with children.

The time for action is now!

We will not be silent, when the rights of the workers and their livelihoods are weakened.

Become a member

PAM is your union if you work in the private service sector as a salesperson, cleaner, waiter, cook, security guard or caretaker, for example. We negotiate the terms and conditions of your job.

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