The National Conciliator did not see the prerequisites for issuing a settlement proposal in the commerce sector labour dispute – The Finnish Commerce Federation is disappointed in PAM’s unwillingness to negotiate
The National Conciliator did not see the prerequisites for presenting a proposal for reconciliation in the labour dispute in the commerce sector today, as the views of the parties were still far removed from one another. The Finnish Commerce Federation is very disappointed that, despite all the proposals from the Finnish Commerce Federation, PAM is not ready to negotiate an amicable solution to avoid strikes, but decided through its own actions to further postpone the pay increases of employees and the development measures of the pay system. The strikes at the largest grocery stores and Kesko’s regional terminals will commence on Thursday.
The labour dispute in the commerce sector has been negotiated under the leadership of the National Conciliator Anu Sajavaara from Tuesday 24 January. The Finnish Commerce Federation has worked hard to reconcile in order to avoid the strikes announced for Thursday. However, the views of the parties are still so far apart that the National Conciliator did not see the prerequisites for submitting a proposal for reconciliation. Strikes in stores and Kesko’s regional terminals will begin on 9 February, and the result of the commerce negotiations and the resulting pay increases for employees will be postponed.
On Wednesday, the Finnish Commerce Federation made a pay increase proposal to Service Union United PAM in line with the general policy, which would have taken low-wage salespersons in particular into account with a better increase than the general policy. The Finnish Commerce Federation’s pay increase proposal also included a one-off payment that would already have been paid in March.
“The Finnish Commerce Federation was ready to approve the reform of PAM’s important logistics pay system and the increase in the number of paid days of family leave,” says Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
The Finnish Commerce Federation was also ready to discuss the development of the salespersons’ pay system in line with PAM’s goals towards fairer and more equal remuneration.
“In the reform, the collective agreement would identify the more demanding work tasks of salespersons better than at present. In addition, employers would have been prepared to make additional increases in salespersons’ pay scale rates. The reforms require a strong common desire, mutual commitment and trust, and these will not be built through strikes,” Lavikkala sums up.
The first wave of strikes in stores includes 185 commerce sector locations that employ some 20,000 people. The first strike wave also applies to Kesko’s regional logistics terminals. The strikes will begin on 9 February at 5 a.m. and end on 11 February at the end of shifts starting at 5 a.m. or earlier. The largest Prisma stores, K-Citymarkets and S-Markets, among others, will be affected by the store strike.
See the list of locations affected by the strike on Thursday >>
More strikes have been announced for weeks 7 and 8. The first strikes in logistics threaten to take place starting from 13 February, and the second wave of strikes in stores threatens to close all Prisma stores, K-Citymarkets, S-markets and Lidls, among others, from 16 February, unless a solution is found before then. In addition to these, the second wave of strikes in logistics threatens to begin on 20 February, as Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen, at the proposal of the National Conciliator, postponed the first strikes in trade logistics, which, according to the initial announcement, would have started on 6 February.
The National Conciliator is in contact with the parties and is discussing when it would be possible to continue the conciliation.
Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)40 040 6088, anna.lavikkala(at)kauppa.fi