JHL campaigns for equal
rights to people in atypical employment
JHL (27.12.2011 - Juhani Artto)
The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL began in May 2011 a
campaign for equal rights to people in atypical jobs. The campaign has
chartered its way forward in various forms and in many kind of events.
Just before to Christmas the 2011 campaign reached its climax when a 5-meter
scarf was presented to Lauri Ihalainen, the Minister of Labour and former
President of the
largest union confederation SAK. The scarf was knitted during those events
by hundreds of people, each contributing a small section. Even Tarja Halonen,
the President of the Republic, participated in this knitting-project in
atypically employed people's rights.
Neither labour nor social legislation has provided fair treatment to
and the self-employed. The former do not have the same rights as permanently
people. Also collective agreements need to be developed so as to make them
any kind of discrimination of atypical employees. JHL and other trade unions
demand that working people's rights and responsibilities must be identical
regardless the form of the employment.
This demand has been heard among politicians. The program of Prime Minister
Jyrki Katainen's government, appointed in June 2011, promises to improve the
status of temporary employees and micro entrepreneurs. Currently a task
force is seeking to identify the problems and working out its proposals on
amend the legislation. Later on the proposals will be handled in
negotiations between representatives of the government and the major labour
JHL's President Jarkko Eloranta hopes that this process will be wrapped up
concrete results. "This is expected by a really large amount of working
Finns", Eloranta stresses.
In Finland, some 700,000 men and women have temporary jobs or belong to
agency labour or work as self-employed. They make up almost 30 per cent of
JHL seeks to remind everyone that by offering or rather allowing atypical
employees their due also plays a role in
tackling poverty. Below the poverty line are 3 per cent of all wage and
salary earners, 10 per cent of temporary employees and 17 per cent of
self-employed. A majority of the people in atypical jobs and people
belonging to the agency labour are low-pay women.
Last year, 62 per cent of women's new employment relations were temporary.
The corresponding figure for men was 49 per cent.