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Trade Union News from Finland
Growing trend in 2012:
Almost 16,000 employees lost their jobs


Helsinki (24.01.2013 - Heikki Jokinen) The number of redundancies grew by almost 50 per cent last year, according to statistics from the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK. The number of people who lost their jobs in 2012 was 15,800, whereas the same figure in 2011 was 10,600. Last year's figure is the second highest recorded since 2006, the year in which SAK began collecting this information. In 2009 some 19,700 people lost their jobs.

Last year the number of employees to get a taste of mandatory consultation with regard to possible personnel cuts was 104,000. In 2011 it was 56,000. The Act of Co-operation stipulates that in all undertakings with more than 20 employees any planned redundancies are subject to mandatory consultation with personnel representatives.

Major redundancies occurred in the technology sector, followed by considerable job losses among the forest industry companies. The mobile phone company Nokia cut 3,700 jobs, Nokia Siemens Networks 624, the IT services and consulting company Tieto 545 and the national flag carrier airline Finnair 480. The bankruptcy of FNsteel left 450 people unemployed from its two factories.

Matti Tukiainen, the Director of employment and sustainable growth at SAK regards the development as part of the major structural changes taking place in the Finnish economy. "In particular, the electronics industry has been moving production away from Finland and the number of jobs in this branch has been declining sharply. The same thing is now happening in shipbuilding, with STX Finland opting for mandatory consultation concerning its 2,200 employees."

According to the Ministry of employment and the economy, the number of temporarily laid-off employees was approximately 44,000 at the end of December 2012, which is 13,000 more than a year earlier. During 2009, the worst year of the current economic crisis, 117,400 employees were temporarily laid-off.