PAM Council Resolution of 23 November 2016: Giving visibility to modern forms of work
The Competitiveness Pact signed in the spring is currently being applied locally, but it is really difficult to reach an understanding at workplaces and in different sectors.
During PAM Council’s general debate, participants repeatedly expressed their wonder about how extending working hours at workplaces such as stores or restaurants next year would contribute to promoting industrial exports. Considering that, at the same time, we are hearing highly positive news about recovering order books within basic manufacturing industries and new bioeconomy investments, which have led some manufacturing industries to float the notion of forgetting about extended working hours, it seems that women in low-paid sectors will be the only ones made to pay. Therefore, Council members expressed specific concern for unemployed people, as the Pact was supposed to avoid additional cuts affecting them. The Finnish Government must take responsibility, must remain true to its word and must categorically stop making the situation for unemployed people more wretched.
Growth to uplift everyone
Council members were delighted by the continued growth in tourism and the fact that the Christmas party season at restaurants is shaping up to be brisker than in other recent years. Sales in the commercial sector are also recovering little by little. The restaurant sector is increasingly experiencing labour shortages, which can be partially attributed to the low level of earnings. Members are therefore outraged that some employers and politicians have, nevertheless, gone on record to demand giving up Sunday pay, for example. If a large-scale retail outlet is facing slow sales and turning a poor profit during those opening hours, it's advisable to consider reducing opening hours rather than cutting wages, PAM Council members state. Regardless, deregulated opening hours in the commercial sector have not brought about more work or extra hours to the extent that the Government was promising while making the decision, which means that this argument will no longer stand. In the opinion of PAM’s Council, the time for ‘joint efforts’ is now well and truly over. It’s time to make just policies; with each decision, the Government must ask itself, ‘Is this fair?’
Platform economy from threat to opportunity
Robotisation, automation, pay-per-click work, the sharing economy – in a word, digitalisation to its full extent – is already changing the nature of work and skills needs in service sectors, too. However, making sense of and forming an opinion on the subject is at a lamentably early stage across employee sectors. In daily workplace operations, this change is probably most visible in the first steps taken in the commercial sector. Massive investments in warehouse logistics are manifest in the huge robots used in a Sipoo warehouse and some automated checkouts are already in use. The nature of work is inevitably changing. The PAM Council wants to see modern forms of work visibly included in training courses, seminars and regional events offered by the Union, while also increasing shared understanding to allow us to make a timely impact on the direction of our future.