Project activities in Finland
Finnish National Action Plan
Trade Union Movement and Mobility of Labour
The main goal of the Finnish action plan is to facilitate positive labour mobility and to counteract negative developments like social dumping and discrimination of migrant workers. The Finnish plan aims to create strategies towards better integration and social participation of migrant workers. The plan involves an operational part, scientific research, public debates and training programs.
1. Operational Part of the Project: Main Fields of Action:
- provision of comprehensive and practical information on living and working conditions in Finland; raising awareness of the new role of trade unions in a globalising labour market (through seminars, publications, awareness events, public media)
- provision of guidance and information on the possibilities to join trade unions, especially related to commuters and immigrant workers in Finland and returning immigrant workers from Finland to Estonia
- promotion of cross border mobility in a fair way and developing new ways of cooperation between Finnish and Estonian trade unions (developing mechanisms and practices for commuting workers to transfer their union membership while working in the other country)
- exchanging information on developments in the labour markets and labour legislation in cooperation with labour market organisations, public authorities, experts, media and NGOs
- creating and establishing active tripartite collaborating networks on national and bilateral level; dissemination of best practices
- Promotion of cooperation models with temporary agencies - good practices, execution of the temporary agency work directive, framework agreements, etc (special emphasis on the problems of cross border temporary agency workers).
- cooperation with networks that deal with national immigration and integration policies, especially in the field on labour mobility.
2. Research – A Qualitative Interview Study
The project involves also a qualitative interview study focusing on questions related to immigrant workers in Finland. The main aim of the study is to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the meaning of trade unions to the immigrant workers. The study attempts to find out the pattern of social inclusion among immigrant workers in respect of next issues:
- general awareness of Finnish social and political system among immigrant workers
- awareness of the principles and services of Finnish trade unions among immigrants
- the image of trade unions among immigrants in Finland, attitudes and opinions
- the motives for joining / or not joining trade unions among immigrants in Finland
- attitudes towards political parties and political participation in Finland
The target group of the research concerns Estonian- and possibly Russian-speaking immigrants working in Helsinki. These groups represent the biggest immigrant groups in Finland having also organised to the trade unions more actively than other foreign population groups.
3. Public Debates and Training Programs
The results and best practices of the operational part of the project will be disseminated nationally and internationally. The findings of the interview study will be presented in seminars and conferences and published as articles. In the framework of the project special training programs will be developed for trade union officers and shop stewards. Lectures could be organised in cooperation with university scholars and teachers focusing on issues like multiculturalism, mobility of labour, cross border mobility.
SAK - the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (www.sak.fi)
- SAK is the oldest employee confederation in Finland (founded in 1907)
- SAK is a confederation of 22 trade unions in industry, the public sector, transport and private services - these unions have a total of more than one million members
- Just under half of the members of SAK-affiliated unions work in industry, about one third work in private services and one quarter work in the public sector. About a quarter of these members are under 35 years of age. 46 per cent of the total membership of SAK-affiliated unions are women
STTK - the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (www.sttk.fi)
- STTK is the second oldest employee confederation in Finland. The 20 affiliated trade unions represent approximately 640 000 professional employees
- Members are working in the public sector, in private industry and in the private service sector. Nearly 70 % of members are women
- Typical member groups are for example nurses and practical nurses, technical engineers, police officers and secretaries
Akava - Confederation of Unions for Professionals and Managerial Staff (www.akava.fi)
- Akava is a trade union confederation for those with university, professional or other high-level education. Akava is formed by 33 affiliates, and has about 530 000 members.
- Membership in the affiliates of Akava is based on a particular degree or profession. The admission criteria vary from one affiliate to another.
- Around half of Akava members are employed by the private sector and half of them by the public sector. 51 % are women, and 49 % are men.
5. Other important links:
www.ek.fi - The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK is the leading business organisation in Finland. It represents the entire private sector, both industry and services, and companies of all sizes.
www.infopankki.fi - The pages of Info Bank contain important basic information for immigrants on the functioning of society and opportunities in Finland.
www.intermin.fi - From the beginning of 2008, the Ministry of the Interior has been responsible for Finland's migration policy and its administration, and for coordinating integration programmes.
www.migri.fi - Finnish Immigration Service
www.tem.fi - Ministry of Employment and Economy
www.mol.fi - Employment and Economic Development Office. About Foreigners working in Finland
www.kela.fi - Social Insurance Institution
www.tyosuojelu.fi/fi/workingfinland - Labour Protection Admintration
6. Plan for 2009
- Developing networks and working groups
- between Finnish trade union confederations
- Tripartiate collaborating networks
- between Finnish and Estonian labour markets
- Preparing the qualitative interview study (to be conducted in 2010)
- Presentations, publications and public debates