PAM’s Selin: The government let down the unemployed and wage earners – the basis of the competitiveness pact has been ruined
The President of Service Union United, Ann Selin, stresses that the active model for unemployment security that has been approved by the Parliament of Finland undermines the position of the unemployed. In her opinion it flies in the face of the objectives agreed in the competitiveness pact.
Selin finds the active model problematic as a whole because one condition for agreeing to the competitiveness pact was that unemployment security would not be cut.
– I would like to remind Prime Minister Sipilä and the whole government that the main reason why PAM decided to go along with the competitiveness pact in spring 2016 was that it would not adversely affect the unemployed. At the time we thought that by agreeing to the competitiveness pact we could prevent marginalisation in society and safeguard the position of the unemployed, which is precarious as it is, Selin states.
An important factor driving the competitiveness pact and for signing up to it was that the government promised to drop planned cuts in unemployment security.
– Wage earners were keen to defend the position of the unemployed and that’s why longer working hours were accepted as part of the competitiveness pact. We did our bit and recognised our responsibility. The question now is: how will the government and employers keep their own promises? We are not in this together if everybody is not on board, and that is how it looks, Selin protests.
According to Selin, the active model is an example of unequal and discriminating policy which does not genuinely contribute to improving employment. As well as worsening the position of the unemployed, the law that has been adopted and the active model will undermine the position of persons already in the labour market.
– Monitoring of activity also applies to persons who have been laid off. It is odd that somebody in ongoing employment has to prove that they are active if the lay-off exceeds 65 days in duration. This increases bureaucracy and is just one example of the pitfalls in the active model. I believe this will make life more difficult for workers and for businesses, Selin states.