A close vote to accept a mediated proposal on May 24 has brought an end to nearly two months of conflict around renewal of the collective agreements in the Finnish food sector. The General Council of the Finnish Food Workers voted to accept the government mediators’ proposal, which preserves existing shift and working time arrangements against employer efforts to stretch the working day to as long as ten hours. The settlement follows an employer lockout and three rounds of strikes affecting up to 80 companies, including some of Finland’s largest bakeries, dairies, meat and beverage factories.
Following the second strike and a deadlock in negotiations, the IUF and affiliates communicated its strong support for the Foodworkers’ demands to the Finnish employers.
In addition to beating back the employers’ working time offensive, the Foodworkers have won a 1.5% increase in the first year, with agreements over the following years linked to the overall negotiated increase in Finland’s other branches of industry.