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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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TRADE UNION NEWS
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juttupohja_4
More cases under investigation:
Hungarian condemned for usurpy-type work discrimination
in Finland

Helsinki (02.05.2011 - Juhani Artto) The representative of the Hungarian employment agency Èszak-Èke Kft has been engaged in usurpy-type work discrimination in Finland, the District Court of Pirkanmaa concluded in early April. The company had employed Hungarian employees to work in a metal working company in Parkano in Western Finland and paid them a monthly wage from EUR517 to EUR595. According to the collective agreement of the technology industry they should have been paid a monthly wage of about EUR1400.

In addition, the employees were not paid the proper evening and night allowances. The company also paid less than what is required for work done on Sundays. The accused claimed to have paid the employees a EUR7 daily allowance per hour but the District Court rejected this claim.

In the event of things, safety inspectors managed to expose this clear infringement of Finnish labour laws. The representative was ordered to pay EUR300 in fines and additionally a further EUR 62,000 to the State in respect of benefits for this illegal activity. The representative had abused the economic plight of the employees in Hungary and their ignorance of employees' rights and minimum wages in Finland, the Court concluded.

Social dumping "very common"

Abuse of foreign labour has increased in Finland, Pia Björkbacka wrote recently in the trade union magazine Särmä. She works as an industrial policy expert at the union confederation SAK. Björkbacka wants it to be made quite clear to everyone that usurpy-type work discrimination resembles human trafficking in terms of crime.

According to Björkbacka social dumping is "very common" in Finland especially in the agriculture and in horticulture sectors. Trade unions, affiliated to the SAK, have found or are currently investigating usurpy-type work discrimination in the construction industry and also in catering, cleaning, massage and berry picking jobs.

In tackling these problems Björkbacka stresses the need for employer associations to take responsibility in this area and for more cooperation with the trade unions. The monitoring of risk areas by the authorities has to be expanded and made more efficient, she insists. And the rights of unions to receive information and to monitor risky sectors have to be extended, Björkbacka adds.