Trade Union News from Finland begins its 16th year
in service of the
union movement today
Helsinki (15.08.2012 - Juhani Artto) Fifteen years ago, when beginning to
publish this web publication, my motivation was to serve both the Finnish
and the global trade union movements. I firmly believed then that there were many
things happening, and of relevance, in Finnish working life and in Finnish
trade unions worthy of reports, in a language widely understood around the
This motivation and this belief have not waned in the past fifteen years.
Rather the contrary. And, very briefly, I would like to outline some of the
reasons why I have remained steadfast and optimistic about Finland and the
worldwide labour movement.
In these insecure times it may be of interest to readers to know
that in a developed country (Finland) real incomes have continuously grown
with very few exceptions.
The continuous rise of real incomes has to be the best evidence of how the
Finnish trade union organizations have managed to take care of their core
Another example: In these
times of "rapid increase in number of
precarious jobs" - a throwaway phrase and something that has been reported
frequently and repeatedly over the last years - it may be good to know that
in Finland the number of continuous full-time jobs remained from 2000 to
2010 unchanged at 65.4 per cent.
Also, here in Finland, trade union organizations have played a major role in defending
continuous and permanent full-time jobs.
Judging by the number of
visits to the website I am encouraged to believe that in many countries,
union activists - both leaders and rank and file
members - also like to read this kind of news:
Being based in a wealthy
country that has a long and strong, but hard fought, labour movement
tradition, the Finnish union movement takes its international
responsibilities very seriously. In January, I felt proud when
publishing a summary of the 25-year history of the Trade Union Solidarity
Centre of Finland SASK.
However, most of the news
and stories in the past fifteen years
have concerned unresolved problems relating to wage and salaried employees,
employer intransigence and attacks on the labour movement, gross injustices
or, generally speaking, various negative phenomena from the employee and
Fortunately, as the Finnish unions are very active in defending the rights
of their rank and file members, Trade Union News from Finland has,
for all these years, been able to inform, and hopefully, encourage its
readers by reporting on activists' and unions' resistance against
After the pilot period of the publication, from August to December 1997,
the Finnish trade union organizations have made it financially possible to
publish Trade Union News from Finland regularly. Currently all three union
confederations (SAK, STTK and Akava), eight national unions and the union
solidarity centre SASK sponsor the publication.
Current sponsors of Trade Union News from Finland