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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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Trade Union News from Finland
Unions offer hotline for young people working during summertime

Helsinki (09.08.2012 - Juhani Artto) About 500 people have called the hotline that counsels young people working in summer jobs. Most of the questions have - overwhelmingly so in fact- have concerned pay-related issues, according to Joonas Tutti, who effectively runs the service.

The hotline itself was set up by the three union confederations SAK, STTK and Akava. And it has proved to be even more popular than in 2011. The service has been available from early May and lasts until August 24.

Summer employees from the service sector have utilized the service more often than summer employees from other industries.

Many callers have used the hotline just to check that their pay, allowances etc. have been paid correctly. However, roughly half of the contacts concern problems in pay and pay-related matters. In some cases wages have been either less than expected or have not been paid on time. Also questions to do with working hour regulations are common, as well as questions concerning what collective agreement should be applied in certain jobs and industry.

And in some instances it has been the employer representatives who have requested information. Most of these calls have come from small companies where employer representatives needed just basic data on regulations as defined in the legislation and collective agreements.

Some employee contacts have exposed efforts to undermine the regulations of the legislation and collective agreements. These cite cases where allowances have not been paid properly and overtime work has not been on a voluntary basis as the legislation demands, Tutti says.

The hotline is not the only counselling service for young summer employees. The web site Kesäduunari-info lists and explains in Finnish and Swedish matters that any newcomer in the working life should comprehend. Such matters are, for example, employment contract and occupational safety. The site is created by SAK, STTK and Akava.