PAM’s Executive Committee usually decides on a strike when negotiations with the Employers Federation about the terms of the new collective agreement have not yielded results, and there is no other solution to the situation. Usually, the previous collective agreement period has ended and there is no agreement in force.
Who and what does the strike apply to?
The strike always applies to the work in the services sector for which the working conditions are being negotiated.
PAM decides which workplaces and locations are on strike.
All the work that is covered by the collective agreement under negotiation is on strike.
The strike also applies to part time work and work though temporary agencies.
Work that is on strike should not be done, because it undermines the possibilities to improve the terms and conditions for doing the work.
PAM can also organize strikes at companies that are not members of the employers’ federation.
Do you need to tell your boss before taking part in strike action?
No. Strike action is a legal right of workers. When PAM declares a strike or expands it, the Union will give written notice of the stoppage to the national conciliator and the other party as required by the Act on Mediation in Labour Disputes (1962/420, Article 7). Workers don’t need to notify their employer of strike action. The employer is not allowed to ask whether a worker will participate or if they are a member of the union.
Do you need to tell the union before taking part in strike action?
Yes. In order to receive strike pay, you need to tell PAM you are taking part in the strike. You register for the strike with the strike pay application form that will be published at pam.fi when the strike begins.
What should I do if the strike begins in the middle of my shift?
Do the closing work - for example locking up, carefully as you normally would - before the strike starts. It is good to agree beforehand how the closing work will be done so that leaving the workplace goes well. If need be, you can hand over the keys against a receipt or in some other way that proves you have given the keys back.
What should I do if my shift starts before or ends after the strike?
You leave your shift when the strike starts. You don’t return to work in the middle of a shift if the strike ends during your shift.
Example 1: The shift starts at 4:00 and the strike starts at 6:00.
You go to work as normal at 4:00 and finish working at 6:00 when the strike begins.
Example 2: Shift is at 22:00-6:00, and the strike ends at 23:59.
You don’t go to work in the middle of the shift. You go back to work when your next shift starts.
I work through a temporary agency. Can I strike?
Yes. As a worker of a temporary agency, you don’t need to and should not do work that is covered by the strike. The strike is about your terms of employment too, such as minimum pay.
As a temporary agency worker, you can strike if:
- you work at a site that is covered by the strike
- you are called by the agency to work at strike locations during the strike
Work covered by the collective agreement is on strike at specific locations at specific times. Even if you are called into work, you can decline.
You can apply for strike pay from the Union, if you would have had at least a four hour shift during the work stoppage and you therefore loose income.
I’m a student and work part-time. My shift is on a strike day. Should I go to work?
Don’t go to work. The strike is about your terms of employment too, such as minimum pay.
The strike also covers part-time workers. Work at specific workplaces are on strike, and that work is not done.
You can apply for strike pay if:
- you are a member of PAM
- you lose income because of the strike and your shift would have been at least four hours long.
How do I get strike pay and much is it?
You apply for strike pay by filling out the form on pam.fi/strike webpage. The form will be published on the first day of the strike.
Strike pay is only paid to workers who are union members. Strike pay can only be paid if you have paid your membership fees.
Note! Strike pay is not paid to those belonging to the non-union YTK unemployment fund.
The strike pay is paid out about a week after the application has been sent.
To fill in the strike pay application, you need to give the following information:
- personal identity code
- bank account number (IBAN)
- workplace information
You don’t need to send your tax card to PAM.
Do I get my wages when on strike?
No. Wages or lunch vouchers are not paid for the period of a strike. However, pay and other employment-related entitlements from before the strike are paid on normal paydays.
Can my employer terminate my contract during industrial action? My employer is threatening to cut my hours if I go on strike. What should I do?
The right to strike is a fundamental right. Everybody has the right to take part in a strike. The Criminal Code forbids discrimination at work, that means an employer is not allowed to treat a worker differently because they took part in strike action.
If a worker takes part in a strike or other industrial action, that does not entitle their employer to terminate their employment contracts or to terminate the employment of anyone on probation or a temporary contract. An employer may not discriminate against an employee taking part in strike action, for example when deciding on working hours, working time, pay rises and so on. (Criminal Code, Chapter 47, Section 3).
If your employer threatens you, you should contact your shop steward or PAM regional office. All threats are taken seriously and are investigated. Do not let yourself be isolated.
PAM’s leadership is also authorised to blockade or boycott companies that employ temporary/external labour during a strike, pressure workers to come to work during a strike, alter previously announced shifts because of a strike, or threaten to discriminate against workers depending on whether they take part in strike action or not.
How does striking affect my annual holidays?
The start of a strike does not interrupt annual holiday that has already begun. Employers must pay holiday pay as normal before a strike starts.
If a strike starts before agreed annual holiday, the worker is on strike and the holiday is rescheduled.
If a strike and pre-announced holiday start on the same day, the worker is on annual holiday, since annual holiday starts at 00.00 and the strike only afterwards (that is when your shift would start).
A holiday cannot be ordered to start during a strike.
What if I become sick before a strike starts?
If you become sick before a strike starts, you must be paid sick pay. Send your medical certificates to your employer without delay and tell your employer when you recover, even if you join the strike at the end of the period of illness.
If you become sick after going on strike, legal practice is that the employer doesn’t have to pay you sick pay for strike days. However, you are entitled to health insurance daily allowances.
Does a strike affect unemployment security?
If unemployment starts before a strike, the strike does not affect payment of unemployment benefits. A strike also does not affect payment of unemployment benefits in a layoff situation, if notification of the layoff has been made before the strike warning and the layoff starts before the strike starts.
What does a strike picket do? Can I be a strike picket?
A strike picket represents the workers on strike and PAM in front of the strike location. If you are a member of PAM you can become a strike picket. It is indeed recommended.
Pickets ensure order in front of striking workplaces, distribute strike bulletins, tell persons arriving at the workplace that a strike is on, monitor employers’ actions and report to the strike committee on consumers’ comments and impressions and any strike-breakers etc.
Pickets are not entitled to prevent anyone entering the workplace or to meet without permission inside the workplace.
As a picket you can also be on duty outside a striking workplace where you do not work yourself. You can register as a picket by e-mailing your regional office. Picket duty shifts are arranged in advance, with the length of shifts adapted to working times and conditions at the workplace. Pickets always carry a PAM badge.
Can I take part in training during a strike?
If the training takes place outside your workplace, you can take part in it.