Pentikäinen of SY condemns strikes

Suomen Yrittäjät, the Finnish SME association, condemns the strikes announced by the member unions of SAK on 31 October.

“The Finnish public finances are taking on more debt at a dangerous and even uncontrolled pace. Labour market reforms to strengthen employment and growth are unavoidable. The trade unions’ strikes are irresponsible and not in the Finnish worker’s interest,” Mikael Pentikäinen, CEO of Suomen Yrittäjät, says.

The SAK member unions Industrial Union, Service Union United PAM, Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL and the Finnish Construction Trade Union said on 31 October that they would begin one-day strikes the following week. The unions planned to announce the first strike locations on Thursday that week and continue them for a month.

The unions opposed the labour market reforms planned by the Government. Pentikäinen says that compared to other countries, the reforms being carried out in Finland are very moderate.

“In many issues, we will still be lagging behind our comparison countries after the reforms,” Pentikäinen says.

Pentikäinen says that Finland’s high structural unemployment will only be reduced through structural reforms.

“Reducing unemployment is truly essential for sanitizing the public finances. Higher employment is both in the interest of the individual and society. Work gives life a sense of belonging and purpose,” Pentikäinen says.

“Many companies are now under pressure, and the number of bankruptcies is the highest this century. In this context, striking is irresponsible. That’s why many workers don’t approve of the unions’ actions either,” Pentikäinen says.

“Surveys show that, in spite of the unions’ rhetoric, workers strongly support many labour market reforms. This is because many workers are more interested in what’s good for their workplaces than the unions’ power.”

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