Over 32,000 salaried and wage employees in the metal industry are ready to begin a two and a half week strike on 21 October if a new collective agreement cannot be reached prior to that date.
The trade union of private sector salaried employees Pro, the Metalworkers' Union and the Electrical Workers' Union announced on Tuesday of their intention to go on strike at 44 companies in the technology industry. Over 32,000 salaried and wage employees will take part in the strike from 21 October to 7 November if the parties fail to reach new collective agreements.
The threat of industrial action is designed to exert further pressure in an effort to realise the common goals of the unions. The latter are aiming at a one and a half year agreement during which there would be a two-stage pay rise. The first of these would mean an increase of EUR0.67 per hour or EUR110 per month. For employees in the higher pay bracket the rise should be at least 4 per cent. And the second pay rise would boost wages and salaries by EUR 0.34 per hour or EUR 60 per month – or an increase of 2 per cent at least.
And the bargaining organization for senior salaried employees YTN also shares these goals. YTN will join the common front later on if larger industrial action is needed.
Collective bargaining in the technology industry has been going on for four months (including a break during the summer vacation period). Last Thursday the employee representatives rejected the employers' pay offer (1.9 per cent in two years) as far too low.
Since then the parties have not been in negotiation. However, this Tuesday Pro, the Metalworkers' Union and the Electrical Workers' Union announced that that they are prepared to call a strike when it became clear that the three Union Confederations (Akava, SAK and STTK) and the two Employer Confederations (EK and KT) had failed to reach a comprehensive income policy agreement.
An overtime ban in the technology industry has been in force since Tuesday afternoon. It covers about 200,000 rank and file members of Pro, YTN, the Metalworkers' Union and the Electrical Workers' Union working in the technology industry.
The eventual strike will focus on the largest export companies in the metal industry. The list of the 44 companies includes ABB (automation and electrical power technology), Kone (lifts), Metso (paper industry power machinery) and Wärtsilä (mechanical workshops). The strike will affect all Finnish-based units of these companies.