300,00 demonstrate in Helsinki against Government attack on trade unions

rautatieasema juna jhl mielenosoitusBy Matti Koskinen, Head of International Affairs, Ammattiliitto Pro / Trade Union Pro

Today some 300,000 workers and trade union members all over Finland participated the demonstration against the Finnish Governments attack on trade unions and collective bargaining at the Helsinki Railway Station Square  

The message was clear. Trade unions in Finland will not tolerate compulsory legislation that disallows unions to collectively agree on better working conditions. The Government’s unilateral decisions to weaken employees’ terms of employment got an unanimous “No way!”.

Finnish national trade unions are willing to negotiate about measures to help Finnish national competitiveness.

Workers around Finland who gathered today in Helsinki said, that the Government’s proposal will hit hardest those who are already in the worse situation in working life – lower paid and women in public sector. The suggested measures are too hard and targeted wrongly.

Government’s initiative to make changes in labour legislation so that collective agreements would not be able to go over legislation, are against international fundamental labour rights. Trade unions will not agree to this.

 Finnish trade unions recieved solidarity messages from all over the world. This solidarity was widely publicised in Helsinki and over 30 000 participants welcomed this with huge applause.

Thank you for your solidarity – fight has only just started.

The social media hash tag of the employee demonstration is #STOP.

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