Berry pickers must
be paid at least EUR 7.91 per hour
Helsinki (18.07.2012 - Juhani Artto) Currently, thousands of seasonal
employees are working in Finland as berry pickers at the many strawberry
fields scattered throughout the country. Many
are Finnish schoolboys and schoolgirls but since the 1990s a substantial
proportion of strawberry pickers have been foreigners. Soon thousands
more berry pickers will arrive in Finland to pick forest berries, such as
blueberries, cloudberries and cranberries. Most of them fly into Finland
There is a collective agreement that sets out the minimum standards for
picking work. According to the agreement the minimum hourly wage is EUR 7.91.
Students in comprehensive or upper secondary school must be paid at least 70
per cent of this (EUR 5.54). Piece rate work should entitle the picker to at
least 20 per cent
higher earnings than time rate work.
Students who will be 14 years of age this year are allowed to work as berry
pickers as it is considered to be "light work". Their maximum working hours
are 7 hours per day.
In recent years the working conditions and often the sad fate of forest
berry pickers from Thailand, and some other countries outside of the
European Union, have caused much public outcry in Finland.