to privatisation of road-builder Destia
JHL (17.12.2012 - Juhani Artto)
The future ownership of Destia, the state-owned company which constructs and
maintains roads and railways is at stake. Parliament had approved its
privatisation back in 2010 and Heidi Hautala, the green minister
responsible for state ownership matters, was ready to go ahead with the
November. However, the two leftist parties in the six-party coalition
government of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, find the proposed privatisation
of this state-owned company
Trade unions organizing Destia's employees, JHL and Pardia, are vehemently
opposed to the
initiative. Jarkko Eloranta, the President of JHL, warns that
privatisation of this vital part of our infrastructure sector could lead to
similar price increases which have blighted the construction sector in
"Construction of apartments is concentrated in the hands of a few big
companies, and prices have risen in an uncontrolled fashion. Do we really
want the same problem to be transferred to road-building?"
According to Eloranta privatisation would also risk the maintenance of
transport infrastructure and weaken Finland's preparedness when it comes to
situations. Moreover, he is keen to remind us that if previous experience is
anything to go by, government sell-offs of state owned companies have had
pretty dismal results.
Privatisation would increase the risk of corruption, too. We all know that
this is an
industry, which is prone to corruption, Eloranta says in an interview with
newspaper Hbl. "There are too many examples of corrupt practises in the past
for it to be overlooked. The state should not
take such a risk", he warns.
Destia has an annual turnover of EUR 500 million and employs 1,600 people.
650 of them are JHL members.