Trade Union News from Finland
Finnish trade unions turn
down European Commission's proposal
to limit the
right to strike
Helsinki (28.03.2012 - Juhani Artto) The three union confederations in
Finland - SAK, STTK and Akava - regard it as impossible to approve the
Commission's proposal concerning the right to strike. The proposal was
published on March 21.
The Commission wants to define, with the so-called Monti II Regulation, the
relationship between the right to take industrial action and the freedom of
establishment (right to set up and operate a business from any member state)
and freedom to provide services. The problem of how to reconcile
economic and social rights has come to light at the Court of Justice of the
European Union when handling disputes (the Viking and Laval cases)
which cross the borders of
member states and involve different national legislation.
SAK, STTK and Akava say in their joint press release that efforts to tie or
the right to strike with economic freedoms would mean setting conditions on
the right to strike and thus de facto dilute the internationally approved
The Commission's proposal contravenes the ILO Convention No. 87 on the right
organize SAK, STTK and Akava point out. They remind us also that the right
is guaranteed under Europe's Social Charter, in the legal practice
concerning the European Convention on Human Rights and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The right to strike is a fundamental and basic right, guaranteed by
international conventions, and it should not be limited. Industrial peace is
preserved and industrial actions avoided most effectively through dialogue
and cooperation between the employer and employee organizations, the Finnish
union confederations stress.