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Collective bargaining - 14.02.2020 klo 17.30

Collective agreement reached in the commercial sector

Today 14 February the Finnish Commerce Federation and Service Union United PAM reached agreement on collective agreements in the commercial sector. The agreements mean that the threatened strike action in the commercial sector has been cancelled.

Agreement has now been reached on working conditions for employees and supervisors in the commercial sector for two years. Under the agreement pay will increase by 2.0 per cent from 1 April 2020 and a further 1.3 per cent from 1 April 2021. 

The extended working hours under the competitiveness pact will be ended by adjusting the annual leave system. In future a maximum of 9 days off can be earned instead of the current 7. The retail collective agreement correspondingly contains many possibilities for flexibility in shift planning that are important for the retail sector. 

Both parties wanted to hold on to the annual leave system. This has been found to work well, and employees can earn paid days off based on actual hours worked. This has been found to be a fair system, especially for part-time workers.

In future, based on local agreement and a trial period, part-time workers will have access to flexible full-time working. This means that part-time workers will have the chance to get monthly wages. As part of the flexible working hours system, the employee also commits to accepting working shifts at short notice in addition to those in the shift list.

The commercial sector is undergoing major changes. The parties want to make it easier for employees to cope with change and enhance their skills. In line with the principles of ongoing negotiation, agreement was reached on new projects and working groups to address the changes in retail. Among other things, the working groups will look at different ways of using labour and forms of working. Agreement was also reached on actions to improve operating conditions for shop stewards.

”Reaching a negotiating result was difficult, and accepting it wasn’t easy either. The front-loading of pay rises and the removal of the competitiveness pact hours while keeping the annual leave system were the things that made it possible to accept the agreement. The final outcome is better than striking”, commented PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen.

”The objective of the Finnish Commerce Federation was to negotiate a collective agreement for the sector that helps retailers operating in Finland to succeed and provide employment in the best possible way. With the elements of flexibility achieved in the negotiating result, retail will be better able to respond to the challenges of tougher competition, digitalisation and changes in employment”, says Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director at the Finnish Commerce Federation. 

Details of the content of the agreement will be published on Monday 17 February.