Pro began a one-month strike at Kotidata – what is going on?
Despite the firm and concrete development measures adopted at Kotidata, Trade Union Pro will today launch a strike that may last for up to one month, with disastrous consequences to the company. Blind to this, Trade Union Pro is determined to force the company to comply with the collective agreement for the ICT sector, which is not applicable to Kotidata.
In recent weeks, the employer and employees at Suomen Kotidata have strived to locally settle and resolve problematic employment-related matters. Despite the company’s firm and concrete development measures and the new proposed bonus scheme, Trade Union Pro will today begin a month-long strike in Kotidata.
However, the employees’ interest in joining the strike seems to be waning.
Pro has stated that it will only accept, as a solution to the dispute, the wages and benefits determined in the collective agreement for the ICT sector.
“Pro demands that the employees of Kotidata receive wages corresponding to those of technical specialists in accordance with the collective agreement for the ICT sector. However, that particular agreement is not applicable to Kotidata,” says Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
“Even if, based on their work history, an employee is a professional ICT installation engineer, it does not entitle the employee to wages in accordance with the collective agreement for the ICT sector, if Kotidata has hired the employee for other duties. These duties require sales and customer-service competence as well as product knowledge of household IT equipment. This world comes under the scope of the collective agreement for the commerce sector,” Lavikkala continues.
Kotidata operates in the commerce sector and sells, among other things, smart home appliances, software and related ancillary services in stores and at customers’ homes. Its customers also include teleoperators, but the company does not work as their subcontractor in actual network operations.
In early September, the Labour Court confirmed that the collective agreement for the commerce sector, which Kotidata has followed for several years, is applicable to the company. To support the Labour Court’s decision, the Finnish Commerce Federation investigated the matter with Service Sector Employers Palta, which negotiates the collective agreement for the ICT sector. According to Palta, the collective agreement for the ICT sector cannot be applied to the operations of Suomen Kotidata.
Despite the Labour Court’s decision, Pro has continued to attack the company by staging several strikes, most of which have been illegal. The strikes have seriously affected the company’s operations.
“It is shocking that despite the Court’s decision, a trade union can continue to organise strikes and terrorise a company that complies with legislation and the relevant collective agreement. It is irresponsible to generate unrealistic and false expectations of pay increases amounting to hundreds of euros. By encouraging employees to strike in favour of the collective agreement for the ICT sector, Pro also puts jobs at risk,” says Lavikkala.
“Kotidata has placed great emphasis on its remuneration scheme and taken efforts to solve any problems brought up by employees. If we collaborate, we can get the company back on track, and that may help restore our cooperation parties’ trust in our reliability,” Lavikkala adds.
For further information, please contact: Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director, the Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 400 406 088, firstname.lastname@example.org
21 October, 10:30 a.m.: information added stating that Kotidata’s customers also include teleoperators, but that the company does not work as their subcontractor in actual network operations.