Trade Union News from Finland
EU has to respect the freedom of collective bargaining
Helsinki (06.05.2013 - Juhani Artto) Experts from the three union
confederations in Finland (Akava, SAK, STTK) have delivered harsh criticism
to the European Union
for repeatedly breaching the freedom of collective bargaining. They refer to
recent cases where the European Commission has intervened in the bargaining
procedures in Romania, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Italy and weakened the
position of unions.
This criticism is included in a 26-page discussion paper published on 26
April by experts from the three confederations. The paper will be published
English at a later date.
The intention here - by bringing out this paper - is to influence or have a
decided impact on the Finnish government which
is preparing a report for Parliament on EU and EMU matters and the
European Council which is due to draw up, in June, a "road map" on how to
develop the European Union and the European Monetary Union.
So naturally, respect for the autonomy of labour market organizations is one
central demands in the paper. The experts also want a stronger role for
labour market organizations in the process where euro zone's economic policy
is formulated. According to them, one way of moving in this direction would
be by establishing
a macro economy dialogue.
Union organizations have supported strong coordination of economic policy,
the experts reiterate. As to the current situation they propose that
reaching finance policy goals in countries where financing deficits is
not difficult be eased slightly.
The experts stress that union organizations do not support further
development of the economic and monetary union without conditions. One
precondition for their support is an expansion of the EMU's social
experts find fault with the European Commission for failing to exercise its
right to take initiatives in recent years. The creation of new legislation
again become the principal way of developing European working life, the
experts maintain. They insist that all EU Member States, including Great
Britain and Poland, must approve the document that defines citizen's basic