PAM’s Selin: Anttila’s bankruptcy is a real-lifeexample of structural change in services sectors
Ann Selin, President of Service Union United PAM, calls on the government to take action to secure support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for those whose employment has been terminated by Anttila.
The bankruptcyannounced by Anttila department stores and Kodin1 homestores, including termination of 1,300 employees, is a sad example of structural changesthat are shaking up services sectors.Selin is concerned about whether Finland is capable of responding quickly enough to changes affecting the commerce sector and to situations where a large number of people out of workare coming onto the labour market due to mass redundancies.
‘Government authorities must wake up to the reality that services sectors are also going through a process of structural change as a result of increasing e-commerce and digitalisation.Anttila’s bankruptcy is a real-lifeexample of this.In these situations, society must react and make sure that individually tailored employment and training measures for terminated employees can be implemented quickly and effectively,’ Selin states.
Anttila stores are located in a wide variety of locations, where it is not easy for skilled commercial sector workers who have been made redundant to find new work in the current economic climate.
‘What are employment prospects like in Kajaani, for example, when a local TE employment office hasmore than a hundred applicants for sales assistant positions and just over ten vacancies on offer?Upheavals of this magnitude require special support as well as employment promotion measures and sufficient resources to overcome unemployment,’ Selin demands.
One possibility is aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and there has already been talk of applying for this.Selin points out that support has previously been applied for in cases of mass redundancies affecting both university staff and Nokia employees and demands that aid should now also be applied for in order to support those people made redundant as a result of Anttila’s bankruptcy.
‘Assessment of competence needs and provision of required competencies, as well as tailored support measures, are also necessary for Anttila people, who have worked hard for low pay.Globalisation aid would be an excellent opportunity, this time around, to support workers in female-dominated private services,’ Selin says.
Selin points out that there are several older and more experienced workers among those made redundant as a result of Anttila’s bankruptcy and it is difficult for them to find employment.This special group will also need support to build their futures.
‘At present, more than half of the long-term unemployed people seeking sales and services work have reached the age of 50.One in three sales assistants who were unemployed in June had reached the age of 50.Long-term unemployment involves major costs to the state, so this also reflects the fact that support is now required to fight prolonged unemployment specifically in terms of Anttila,’ Selin says.