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JUHANI ARTTO
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Joint bargaining effort by wage and salary earners' union organizations in the technology industry

Helsinki (16.09.2011 - Juhani Artto) Three union organizations, representing some 250,000 wage and salary earners in the technology industry, have agreed on common goals and pledged to act in unison during this current round of collective bargaining. This move is nothing short of historic as it is the first time that these separate employee groups have sought to combine forces in this way.

The three organizations in question are the Metalworkers' Union, the salaried employees union Pro and the bargaining organization of senior salaried employees YTN. They are aiming at a one and a half year agreement during which there would be a two-stage pay rise. The first of these would mean an increase of EUR0.67 per hour or EUR110 per month. For employees in the higher pay bracket the rise should be at least 4 per cent.

And the second pay rise would boost wages and salaries by EUR 0.34 per hour or EUR 60 per month – or an increase of 2 per cent at least.

The three organizations have agreed to stick together in the event that they need to adjust their demands. They have also approved common qualitative demands. Amongst others is the demand for more vacation time or time off for near retirement employees. Needless to say, all three organizations have their own more specific proposals and demands.

In recent months, the employer association, the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, has warned of companies facing serious economic difficulties in the near future. The trade union organizations dismiss such gloomy talk as just more employer scare-mongering.