New strike warning in the commerce sector
The Executive Committee of Service Union United PAM decided on new strikes in the commerce sector for week 7. The strike covers 415 operating locations where around 26,000 employees and supervisors work. The strikes will start unless an agreement has been reached beforehand. Mediation of the dispute in the commerce sector will continue under the leadership of the National Conciliator will continue on Wednesday.
PAM’s Executive Committee decided on new strikes to increase employers’ willingness to agree on wages and employment conditions. PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen points out that the industrial action is planned to impress not only on commerce sector employers but employers more generally that the entire wage earner movement is looking for fair pay rises.
“We want the strikes to encourage commerce sector employers to accept the fair pay rises that workers have deserved. We are now in a situation where there doesn’t seem to be progress in negotiations or in mediation in any sector and that’s why we hope that the strike notices will show employers more generally that the overall wage earner movement is looking for pay rises.”
“The strikes are not supposed to inconvenience ordinary consumers or to make their everyday life difficult. The industrial action isn’t directed at consumers, only at employers, who have the power to prevent the strikes from taking place”, Rönni-Sällinen stresses.
The new commerce sector strikes will start at retail locations at 5 am on 16 February and end at 5 am on 18 February (or at the end of the shift starting before that), if no agreement on wages and employment conditions has been reached beforehand. The strike covers, among others, all K-Citymarkets, Prismas, Lidl Finland and Veljekset Keskinen Oy stores, 42 Tokmanni and 14 Kokkolan Halpa-Halli stores and at the Kesko Logistics terminals in Tampere, Turku, Kuopio and Oulu.
You can check the strike sites on PAM’s website here.
Ban on overtime and shift changes and ban on temporary transfers from 1 February
PAM’s Executive Committee also decided on a ban on overtime and shift changes as well as a ban on temporary transfers in the commerce sector. The ban on overtime, shift changes and transfers comes into force from Wednesday 1 February in the entire commerce sector, both warehouses and retail stores.
As part of the wage union with SAK unions, PAM is aiming for a level of pay rises in the collective agreement negotiations in line with German industry. For the commerce sector this would mean increases of around 200 euros. In addition to wage rises, PAM is aiming for improvements to the content of the commerce collective agreement in the negotiations. This includes improving the status of part-time workers, improved pay bases, promotion of wellbeing at work and improved operating conditions for staff representatives.
PAM’s Executive Committee previously decided on strikes affecting around 20,000 employees in week 6, unless an agreement is reached before then. Last Sunday PAM also decided on a strike in warehouses in week 7.
What are overtime, shift change and temporary transfer bans?
PAM’s Executive Committee decided on a ban on overtime and shift changes and a ban on temporary transfers in the commerce sector. The ban on overtime, shift changes and temporary transfers will come into force on Wednesday 1 February in all retail stores.
During the overtime ban hours are not accumulated in working hours accounts or similar systems. During the overtime ban the use of external labour or e.g. on-call workers or agency workers is not accepted if this is designed to get round a legal overtime ban.
Shift change ban
During the shift change ban workers do not agree shift changes with their employer or make any other changes to working hours proposed by their employer. You arrive at and leave your workplace exactly in accordance with the shift in the shift list. During the ban, flextime or working hours accounts are not accumulated.
Temporary transfer ban
During the temporary transfer ban workers cannot be transferred from one place of work or work task to another. Workers do their own work in their regular place of work in accordance with the confirmed list. The ban is intended to prevent situations where due to staff shortages workers are moved to work locations covered by the strike.