Questions and answers on industrial action
Do you need to tell your boss before taking part in strike action?
No. Strike action is a legal right of employees. The Act on Mediation in Labour Disputes (1962/420, Section 7) requires that notice of a stoppage or an extension of a stoppage must be given in writing to the national conciliator and the other party at least two weeks beforehand. This notice is given by the union. There is no further need for workers to notify their employer of strike action.
Do you need to tell the union before taking part in strike action?
In order to receive strike pay, you need to register with PAM in line with PAM’s instructions. Strike pay is paid to union members and payment can only be made if you have registered. Work should be wound down properly, making sure that doors are locked and whatever else is normally done before closure.
When do I register for strike action?
You can register for a strike at the earliest on the first day of the strike using the online form, which is also the strike pay application.
How do I get strike pay and how much is it?
Strike pay is only paid to workers who are union members. Strike pay can only be paid if your membership fees are paid-up. Payment requires you to have registered for the strike on the first strike day as indicated in each case.
Do I get my wages when on strike?
Wages are not paid for the period of a strike. However, pay and other employment-related entitlements falling due are paid on normal paydays. On strike days workers are also not entitled to benefits in kind provided by their employer such as lunch vouchers.
Can my employer terminate my contract during industrial action?
If an employee takes part in legal 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 e.g. when deciding on working hours, working time, pay rises etc. (Criminal Code, Chapter 47, Section 3).
My employer is threatening to cut my hours if I go on strike. What should I do?
Strikes are legal and everyone has a legal right to take part in them. The Criminal Code prohibits discrimination at work, i.e. employees may not be placed in an inferior position for taking part in a strike. Contact your shop steward or PAM regional office if you are threatened by your employer.
All threats are taken seriously and are investigated. Do not let yourself be isolated. PAM’s leadership is also authorised to boycott companies that employ temporary/external labour during a strike, pressurise employees to come to work during a strike, alter previously announced shifts because of a strike, or threaten to discriminate against employees 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 employee is on strike and the holiday is rescheduled. If a strike and pre-announced holiday start on the same day, the employee is on annual holiday since annual holiday starts at 00.00 and the strike only afterwards (i.e. when your shift would start).
Holiday cannot be set to start during a strike.
What is a strike committee?
Regional strike committees handle strike-related matters in a particular area. These matters include liaising with the shop stewards and contact persons in the locations that are on strike.
What does a strike picket do?
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.
Can I be a strike picket? How?
Yes you can and it is actually recommended. 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.
What is an industrial action loan?
An industrial action loan is a bank loan. Industrial action credits can be granted to PAM members by Danske Bank, Nordea and OP. Further information is available from these banks. Many branches have agreements for strike loans with local banks; ask the staff in your branch for details.
What if I fall ill before a strike starts?
If you fall ill 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. But if an employee falls ill after going on strike, legal practice is that they do not have to be paid sick pay for strike days. However, they 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.
Can I take part in training during a strike?
If the training takes place outside your workplace, you can take part.
What is the procedure for returning to work?
If it is a short strike, after the strike ends employees return to work according to the working hours list drawn up in advance, otherwise the strike-ending agreement applies. The strike-ending agreement sets out the actions and conditions for ending the strike.