Finnish trade union
movement demands EU not intervene
in collective bargaining
Helsinki (22.02.2011 - Juhani Artto) The EU's
plan to grab the right to control collective bargaining taking place in the
Member States has been turned down outright by the Finnish trade union
movement. This was the message of Mikko Mäenpää in his radio interview
broadcasted on Monday morning by Yle. Mäenpää is the President of the
Finnish Confederation of Professional STTK and a steering committee member
of the European Trade Union Confederation ETUC.
He urges Finnish politicians to ensure that the EU will not intervene in
working life matters at national level. Intervention on bargaining and pay
levels would be steps in a wrong direction and would be opposed by the
entire trade union movement, Mäenpää stresses.
The first sign of the new direction became public when a demand to cut the
minimum wage was included in the bailout package for Ireland. It was a total
surprise for the trade unions.
Mäenpää is also worried about the initiative of Germany's Chancellor Angela
Merkel and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy on harmonization of European
taxation and pension policy. He does not oppose development of European
working life in a more unified direction but it has to take place through
the regular procedure based on directives.
In mid' March EU's finance ministries will sit down to tackle these issues.
Mäenpää expects the Finnish minister Jyrki Katainen not to support
initiatives that would allow collective bargaining and pension policy to be
decided by the European Commission.