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24.10.2023 11:26

Annika Rönni-Sällinen at the PAM Union Congress opening: Government cuts aimed at same people who bore heavy burden during pandemic

Service Union United PAM’s Union Congress gathered 329 delegates as well as Finnish and international guests. At the Union Congress opening PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen stressed how during the past Congress period service workers bore a heavy burden during the covid crisis. The Orpo-Purra Government is again placing the biggest cuts for the same people…

Annika Rönni-Sällinen puhuu PAMin liittokokouksen avajaisissa.

— When the rest of Finland hunkered down in their homes, a large share of you PAM members made sure that people had food, that places were cleaned and that order was maintained. Service workers became visible as the backbone of functioning everyday life, and for that you received accolades, PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen reminisced.

—The tourism and restaurant industry was hardest hit by the pandemic, when government ordered workplaces to close. Employees took on a large part of the economic risk, unemployment security wasn’t enough in the long run. Many peoples’ finances were wrecked.

Already on May Day 2020 Rönni-Sällinen stressed, that when the time for balancing the economy comes, the cuts must not be aimed at the same people who were hit by the crisis. The burden must rest on those who got off easier during the pandemic.

—The Orpo-Purra government are aimed at the same people who suffered from the crisis: low-income workers, temporary workers, and single parents. Those with larger incomes are favoured with lower taxes. But cutting social security is not enough for the government, in addition employment security is gutted, temporary employment is made easier and the right to strike is weakened.

The Orpo-Purra government has thus challenges the entire Finnish consensus society.

—That we as a small nation have sought common solutions has been seen as Finland’s strength. The Finnish labour movement wants to be a part of the solution together with employers and the state, Rönni-Sällinen pointed out.

SAK President Jarkko Eloranta and Jyväskylä Mayor Timo Koivisto also spoke at the opening ceremony.

Performances at the opening by the choir Kipinät, and rock cellist Elias Kahila with Katri Ylander and Markus Venehsalo, and the dance performance “Yhdessä parempaa” made for the occasion.

Read entire speech by Rönni-Sällinen (in Finnish)