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Trade Union News from Finland
JHL supports move to delve into Finnish public sector's cooperation with companies operating in developing countries

JHL (27.03.2012 - Juhani Artto) Finnwatch, the watchdog agency tracking Finnish companies' operations in developing countries has established a new research project supported by four Finnish trade unions and the Finnish NGO International Solidarity Foundation. The Decent Work programme will investigate working conditions at company units and those of their subcontractors in developing countries, which supply goods to Finnish markets.

The unions taking part in this effort are the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, the salaried employees union Pro, health and social sector employees' Tehy and the Finnish Food Workers' Union SEL.

Special attention will be paid to working hours, employees' livelihood and occupational safety and health. This year the project will also probe the origin of developing country products used in hospitals.

"For JHL it is important to learn to know how extensively the Finnish public sector cooperates with company units in developing countries and what kind of working conditions they apply", says Eveliina Petälä, an employee at JHL's international unit.

The goal is not only to provide information but also to influence companies, decision-makers and people responsible for public procurements so as to make their actions more responsible.

"As a broad network of organizations, the Decent Work programme is an easy way to influence companies", says Sonja Vartiala, the executive manager of Finnwatch.