Published: 21/04/2020

The IUF and our Finnish affiliate PAM have signed an agreement with the government’s national alcoholic beverages retail monopoly Alko to promote respect for worker rights in the company’s international supply chain, including workers’ rights to form unions and negotiate their working conditions through collective bargaining. Alcoholic beverages in Finland can only be sold through Alko’s more than 400 outlets. Wine consumption has been increasing steadily in Finland, spotlighting the situation of workers on farms producing wine for Alko shops.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes regular meetings between the parties and a process for addressing concerns and complaints raised by the IUF.

IUF General Secretary Sue Longley and PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen

“The IUF is delighted to co-sign with PAM this agreement with Alko. It builds on our ongoing work to improve working conditions in the alcohol industry and its supply chain and will strengthen our capacity to achieve much needed improvements. The agreement ensures that workers on wine farms have, through their union, a direct line to report poor working conditions to us so that the IUF and PAM can raise them directly where it matters”, says IUF General Secretary Sue Longley.

PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen emphasized the importance of the follow-up mechanism in the memorandum, which will give practical effect to the goals it sets out, adding that the agreement is of wider importance because the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is currently reviewing options for implementing national legislation on corporate responsibility, which would require companies to follow the Alko example law.

The Alko agreement builds on the precedent established with the similar 2017 agreement between the IUF and the Swedish state-owned alcohol monopoly Systembolaget