Trade is the supporting pillar of society
With almost 270,000 employees, the trading sector is the largest employer in the private sector. Additionally, trade also offers opportunities for entrepreneurship. Trade is also the largest employer of young people; more than one fifth of young people under the age of 25 work in the trade sector.
Trade is not accustomed to being seen as a strong supporting pillar of the Finnish society. However, as the industrial society becomes a service society, the importance of trade is constantly increasing. Indeed, trade plays a significant role in the revolution in Finnish business.
Tough international competition with e-commerce giants, automation and digitalization are challenging the trade sector. At the same time, change also offers new opportunities. In order to enable trade to continue to be successful and employable, the collective agreement also needs to live up to date and renew itself. In addition, one must also take into account the diversity and heterogeneity of the retail sector, from grocery stores to specialist and technical wholesalers and from small kiosks to international listed companies.
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“The aim of Finnish Commerce Federation is to negotiate an agreement that will improve the competitiveness of the trade sector, which in its turn will help shops operating in Finland in the best possible way to succeed and employ – taking into consideration also COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on trade sector. One key way to do this is to increase company-specific solutions,” explains Anna Lavikkala, the Labour Market Director, who leads the negotiations on behalf of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
The negotiation round started in fall 2022 with the export industry negotiating their salary increases for the next year. Since the salary solution in the negotiations was not reached, the export industry commenced full negotiations in order to negotiate a new collective agreement. The collective agreement negotiations of the trade sector will start in early 2023. At the same time, collective agreement negotiations will be held for example, in the car and transport industry.