Fundamental principles covering political expressions of opinion
Principles regarding political protests and expressions of opinion as well as answers to questions raised
The expression of opinion, such as organisation in unions, is the workers’ fundamental right, also recognised in the Constitution.
The workers always have the legal right to arrange a political expression of their opinion, aimed at influencing decision-making in society at large. The expression of opinion may be, for example, a protest against the decisions made by the Government or Parliament.
Questions and answers
When and where?
The protest takes place on Friday 18 September at 11.00 to 13.00 at the Helsinki Railway Square. If you cannot be there but still want to participate, you can do that by interrupting your work from 11.00 to 13.00. Talk about this at the workplace among colleagues. You should also contact your own shop steward/employee representative.
Who are involved in this protest?
The protest concerns all PAM sectors and jobs.
How to get there?
SAK’s regional offices organise bus transportation from all over Finland. Please check the Facebook wall of the event. The PAM and SAK website will give more information as soon as it is available. Bus transportation is free for the participants. Certain union branches also organise their own buses. Please keep informed by following the website and like the event’s FB wall to receive more information. Click ”Osallistun” (Participating), and you will be one of us even if you cannot be there.
Can I really participate in the protest – just like that?
Yes, you can. Talk about it with the shop steward and your colleagues at the workplace. Please all join in the protest! PAM has informed both the Conciliator General and the employer organisations about the protest. This is a legal protest and you have the right to participate.
I feel that the nature of my work makes it impossible for me to express my opinion. What should I do?
Contact your shop steward, and if there is no elected shop steward or employee representative at your workplace, contact the Union. As a main rule, people in all PAM sectors can express their opinion without, for example, the criteria of emergency work being met.
Does the protest also concern those who are not union members?
Yes, it does. This is a general political protest, and all employees can participate. Naturally, if you are a union member, both the shop steward and the union are there for you if you need support.
Is this obligatory or voluntary?
A political expression of opinion is everybody’s legal right but you decide for yourself. PAM invites everybody to participate. You should talk this over with your colleagues and shop steward. Shop stewards also give more detailed instructions about the action. This is a protest of the entire employee movement, and it is targeted against the Government’s coercive measures that affect employees. It is also a protest against the objective to break up the entire social system based on collective agreements.
How to formulate the intention to participate if you work in a small restaurant or similar?
You just tell your superior that you are going to participate in a legal political protest. The employer cannot prohibit you from participating.
Send a message to the Government
You can also participate by sending a message to the Ministers Stubb, Soini and Sipilä at www.terveisethallitukselle.fi (”Greetings to the Government”).
I work on Friday but can I still participate in the protest?
Yes, you can. Please tell you employer when you are about to leave and take care of the normal end-of-work routines before you leave.
Can the employer terminate my employment if I participate?
The employee’s participation in a legal political protest does not give the employer right to cancel or terminate the employment contract or to end the employment of a person on a trial period or with a fixed-time contract. The employer may not discriminate against an employee who participates in the protest, for example, when deciding on the roster, working hours, pay increases and similar issues. If you feel you are being pressurised or you are being prevented from participating, please inform you shop steward or union immediately.
Will I receive my pay for the hours of the protest?
The employer need not pay you for the time you participate in the protest.
If my shift starts at 11.00, shall I go to work only at 13.00?
Yes, exactly. Inform your employer in advance.
If kindergartens are closed on Friday and I cannot get my children in day-care, what should I do?
Please talk about this problem with your employer. If the employer cannot arrange day-care, you can stay home to take care of the child.
Will the union pay me for loss of income?
No, it will not. You can ask your own union branch for compensation.
And the return to work?
After the protest, you should return to work in line with the advance roster.
When do I become a PAM member if I decide to join?
Your membership starts the moment when the membership form (digital or paper copy) arrives at PAM. The first thing every new member receives is a confirmation from PAM, either in SMS or in letter form. At the moment, it may take a little longer than normal because the flow of new members is significant but the protection of union membership is in force form the moment the membership form is received by the PAM.
Please read also
Transportations from different cities in Finland, can be found here