“With a positive attitude you can overcome anything in life”
SOL worker Alberto Jeromeo joined the union by his sister’s referral. He also recommends PAM to others as a union membership helped him through rough times in the spring of 2020.
I am Alberto Jeromeo, 41.
I live in Helsinki.
Joined PAM in September 2019. It was my sister, who recommended PAM to me after starting work in Finland. I am familiar with unions from my home country, the Philippines, and their role in protecting worker’s rights.
I work as a cleaner for SOL Palvelut in Sokos Hotel Flamingo in Vantaa.
I moved to Finland in the fall of 2019 and began work at SOL right after. It was a big change, especially the level of income and standard of living, when I compare to home. The things I appreciate about Finland, are the opportunities people have in the society and for example free education.
At the moment, work is number one for me and I focus on that. The rest will follow. In my daily work, I have to be fast and follow tight schedules. When the work is completed, I leave everything at the door and don’t carry it with me. It is up to you, how you handle things and what attitude you have in life. I choose to be cheerful and always look forward. This is something my work-mates say they appreciate with me.
Our working language is English, so I communicate in English with everyone. Our team consists of workers from different countries such as Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iraq and Estonia.
Workplace issues are important and I see fair work conditions as something essential for workers. It is good that PAM is reaching out to employees through the SOL campaign. I have also taken part in the survey that PAM has sent to SOL workers. You can easily fill it out on the website! It will help to develop the working conditions and the shop steward’s work.
Through my own union membership I have learned more about working life issues, got to know my shop steward, Janne Forsman, and I have also visited PAM’s regional office in Helsinki. I also recommend union membership to other workers, as it has been a great help to me personally.
Due to the corona pandemic, I was laid off work between March and June last year. That was very hard, as I had no idea of what is coming next. Lack of earning was a big concern for many workers, as bills had to be paid. Thankfully, I was able to pull through with the help of PAM. I was one of the lucky ones to resume work in June. Overall, the corona has affected working hours and shifts for many of us. You have to have confidence that things will work out no matter what. Staying healthy is important too.
In the future, I see myself working in Finland. I have a one-year residence permit, but hopefully, it will be renewed so I can go on working. By the grace of God, I will also have my son with me as time goes by.
Text:: Marie Sandberg-Chibani