Four cornerstones



The new Industrial Union strategy for the years 2023–2028 will be adopted by the Union Congress in May 2023 in Tampere.

There are four cornerstones in the strategy: labour market activity, organisational strength, influencing society and enablers. In practical terms, what do these mean?

Labour market activity is a comprehensive package – all union employees are engaged in one way or another with this. The hard core of this activity is to improve members’ terms and conditions of work.

The most visible part of labour market activity is collective bargaining but resolving disputes at the workplaces is a very vital part of this, too.

– Labour market activity also involves training, providing information and improving the position of shop stewards at workplaces, says the Industrial Union labour market director Jyrki Virtanen.

The Finnish labour market is to a large extent based on the generally binding collective agreements. This means that a collective agreement covers all companies in a certain branch when about a half of the employees are working in companies that are members of the employers’ association who have signed up to the agreement.

Currently, as some employers opt to pull out of the national level agreements, the problems with the system are becoming increasingly visible. In response the Industrial Union is examining new initiatives and strategies.

Organisational strength means consolidation, creating strong joint power and improving members’ position in the labour market.

The Industrial Union has members in 11,000 workplaces across the country. This provides organisational strength but requires constant and determined effort on the part of the union.

Organisational strength means consolidation, creating strong joint power and improving members’ position in the labour market. Recruiting new members and active work in workplaces are keys to all this.

There are many ways and areas where terms of work can be improved by legislation. This work is done by influencing society.

For the parliamentary elections in April 2023 the union has its own goals for the next Government Programme. These include updating legislation concerning the generally binding collective agreements.

Among other goals are guaranteeing purchasing power, combating labour market criminality, improving the situation of shop stewards and enhancing conditions of industrial work.

Enablers are the things that make the union operate smoothly: resources, members’ services and communication.The union’s own educational institute Murikka will continue to offer a broad selection of courses. Other training will be comprehensive, too, both online and face to face.

All this needs money. Membership dues are not enough to cover all union work, but income from investments helps to balance the budget.