PAM decides to call strikes which will cover almost 50,000 jobs
The negotiations in the commercial sector and the facilities services sector broke off on Friday and the Executive Committee of Service Union United PAM decided on large-scale industrial action which covering almost 50,000 jobs. PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen blames the coordination by the Confederation of Finnish Industries for preventing genuine union-specific negotiations.
PAM’s objective was to get collective agreements negotiated for both the facilities services sector and the commercial sector during the agreement period, i.e. by the end of January. PAM’s Executive Committee broke off negotiations on Friday, because they were no longer making progress.
“The conditions weren’t in place to take the negotiations forward because the employers were unwilling to negotiate on the competitiveness pact hours, among other things”, says Rönni-Sällinen.
PAM was negotiating the commercial sector collective agreement with the Finnish Commerce Federation and the collective agreement for employees in the facility services sector with Real Estate Employers. Both employers’ federations are members of EK, the Confederation of Finnish Industries.
“EK was closely coordinating the negotiations, and this close coordination prevents genuine union-specific negotiations. By coordinating in this way, the employers want to have the best of both worlds, and among other things force cleaners and sales staff to continue work extra hours for free. The employers are just playing, but this is a serious matter”, says Rönni-Sällinen.
PAM’s Executive Committee decided to call for large-scale industrial action, with the first strikes starting in week 8.
“Despite our best efforts the negotiations didn’t progress. Because of this we had no other alternative but to decide on large-scale industrial action covering almost 50,000 jobs. Obviously the employers’ federations will now have to face the consequences of committing to sticking to their coordinated approach”, Rönni-Sällinen stresses.
Among the first to go on strike will be the S-Group’s Inex Partners Oy consumer goods and grocery logistics centre and all regional cooperatives’ Prisma stores. The strike at Inex Partners Oy will start on Tuesday 18.2. at 6 a.m. and end on Saturday 22.2. at midnight. Prisma stores will be on strike from Thursday 20.2. at 6 a.m. until Friday 21.2. at midnight.
“It is not our intention to unduly disrupt daily life for retail customers and due to the nature of the sector, we do not expect the stores to be totally closed. The point of the strikes is to get the employers to conduct genuine union-specific negotiations, to agree on matters from the sector’s perspective and not conditional on EK’s coordination,” emphasises Rönni-Sällinen.
Strikes in the facility services sector will also begin in week 8 in Lapland, North Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia and Central Finland.
“We have also decided on strikes after week 8. PAM will announce industrial action for the following weeks later. I hope decisions on the collective agreement can be reached before the strikes start,” states Rönni-Sällinen.
More detailed information on the strike locations and other matters related to industrial action is available on PAM’s website www.pam.fi/strike.