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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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Two new studies:
Employers' attitudes in industry have both hardened and softened


Helsinki (10.07.2012 - Juhani Artto) A new study conducted among rank and file members of the Metalworkers' Union indicate that employers' attitudes have hardened. Just 21 per cent of the respondents had been informed about changes in their work as early as the planning stage. The proportion of such employees has gradually decreased. In 2007 and in 2002 the proportion was 25 per cent, but in 1997 still 34 per cent.

And the number of employees who have been allowed to participate in training organized by the employer has also shown a decrease. The union magazine Ahjo interprets these figures as a clear indication that employer attitudes have hardened just as their willingness to cooperate has weakened. The material for the study was collected and collated in spring 2011.

More positive results were received in a study carried out among shop stewards of the industrial union TEAM. The latter organizes workers working in the chemical, petrochemical, graphical, pharmaceutical, rubber, glass, porcelain, textile and garment industries. The data concerns the situation in 2011.

Surprisingly, 76 per cent of the respondents believe they were able to influence the outcome of the corporate-level mandatory consultations. In 2009 only 52 per cent of the respondents reported similar sentiments. "The myth that employee representatives cannot have an impact on consultation results is hit hard by the replies", the union magazine Intiim concludes.

And the responses from TEAM's shop stewards also reveal positive surprises in relation to the support packages provided to employees who have lost or who are going to lose their jobs. More than a third (35 per cent) of the respondents report that their employers have been generous with such support packages. They have included extensions of notice periods, compensation lump sums of up to six months' pay and several other benefits.

"In light of this, it is really worth trying to demand support packages at the corporate-level mandatory consultations", Intiim's editor Tuomo Lilja concludes in his article on the study.