The high season of collective bargaining is upon us. Quite a few major agreements have already been struck and others are currently under negotiation.
In the Industrial Union agreements, we see a pay rise of 2 per cent this year. It is usually split into two parts: a part that everyone gets and then a part that is decided individually at the workplace.
A common share of the general pay rise for all is 1.6 per cent and the workplace-based share 0.4 per cent. These shares might vary a bit, depending on the branch.
We are now facing a rising rate of inflation and the extent of economic recovery after the pandemic is still somewhat unclear. For this reason, the pay rise has only been decided for this year.
The year 2023 is a so-called option year. For instance, in the pay deal of the technology industry the agreement can be terminated at the end of November should the parties not reach agreement on the pay rise in 2023 before then. If there is a deal, the collective agreement will continue to be valid in 2023, too.
In the chemical sector, the Industrial Union has a new collective agreement in many fields, like the car retail and engineering branch, motor vehicle tyre branch, chemical basic industry, footwear and leather industry, rubber industry, plastics and chemical products industry, direct mail delivery, textile and fashions branch and oil, gas and petrochemical products industry.
The line of the Industrial Union is clear: all members must get collective agreement level terms of work in spite of the size of the company.
In the technology sector, new collective agreements are now closed for instance in rural industries, ore mines industry, sheet and industrial insulation branch, horticultural branch, technical services and maintenance, technology industry, fur production branch and landscaping branch.
The third sector of the union is the wood product sector. There, the situation is different, as the bio industry and mechanical forestry employers pulled out from the national level collective agreement.
Last year, the now terminated national level collective agreement in these branches covered some 7,000 union members. Now, agreements must be reached with individual companies.
The line of the Industrial Union is clear: all members must get collective agreement level terms of work in spite of the size of the company. The union will make some 200 company-based deals to secure this.
By the end of March new collective agreements already covered more than 90 per cent of those working in the mechanical forestry industry. This number is growing, as new agreements are being signed weekly.