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26.10.2023 15:01

PAM President Rönni-Sällinen in Congress speech: Full-time work in service sector need to be redefined

Service Union United PAM’s re-elected President Annika Rönni-Sällinen highlighted workers possibilities to influence their work and to earn a decent living. Part-time work and shortening working time without a reduction in wages animated delegates at the PAM Union Congress on 24-26 October 2023.

Puheenjohtaja Annika Rönni-Sällinen PAMin liittokokouksessa 2023

Employees feel increasingly strained because of the workload, understaffing and digital stress.

“In 2020’s working life we need to have a chance to plan our lives. It requires predictability of incomes and how work and leisure are scheduled. In coming collective bargaining negotiations and by agreeing on local procedures, workers right to influence their work schedule needs to be increased significantly”, stated PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen.

About 50 000 employees in services sectors work part-time involuntarily.

“Part-time work means part-time income. We have year after year talked about working hours that ensure a decent income, the right to extra hours. The employers’ answer has been that it’s impossible to offer full-time jobs.”

The Government’s view on part-time work has changed. There’s no longer a willingness to support low-wage workers so that even part-time work would be viable. The Orpo-Purra government is making cuts to unemployment and housing allowances that make part-time workers’ situation more difficult.

“Government ministers have said that they should do full-time work. We know that you don’t just go do full-time work in our sectors. There simply isn’t full-time work for everyone.”

Increasingly we encounter that work is done during difficult hours in the evenings, at night and at weekends and that scheduling is so poor, that full-time work isn’t feasible, Rönni-Sällinen says of the change in working life.

“We need to change perspective. We need to redefine what working full-time means in services sectors. This goes, in particular, for tasks where work is performed during uncomfortable working hours. Then you need to earn a full-time wage on less working hours.”

Rönni-Sällinen also highlighted the full potential of the workers who have moved to Finland, which employers have yet to make use of. She also talked about the need for unions to increase coordination in collective bargaining negotiations.

Read the full speech in Finnish (pdf)