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Questions and answers on the strike

On Tuesday, 17 January 2023, YTN issued a strike warning concerning senior salaried employees in the technology industry in separately named companies. In addition, the contract branches of the technology industry and the consulting sector have been subject to an overtime ban and a ban on leisure time travel on work-related matters.

What is a strike warning?

A strike warning is a legal notification of an upcoming strike. A strike will take place if no agreement is reached in collective agreement negotiations before the strike begins. The strike warning does not yet cause any action in the workplace or for the individual.

If the strike takes place, when will it happen?

The contract branch strikes are in certain companies from 1–3 February 2023. The striking companies are here.

If your workplace is not on the list, you will continue to work normally, taking into account the entire sector’s declared overtime ban and the ban on travelling for work during leisure time. If you are unsure, please contact your shop steward or, alternatively, the YTN strike service.

When will we know if the strike is going to take place?

The strike will take place if nothing else is announced. A strikebound company should be prepared to go on strike. If an agreement is reached and the strike is cancelled, this will be announced separately.

Who is covered by the strike?

The strike applies to all the senior salaried employees working in those companies that have been placed on strike in the technology industry. The strikes are declared specifically on work, so it does not matter if the person belongs to a union or not.

Am I on strike if I am on a work-related trip abroad?

Workplaces in Finland have been declared as strikebound. This means that when you are on a work assignment abroad, you are not on strike, so the work will resume as normal. If you stop working while on assignment, you may even end up having to pay for the travel costs yourself for the duration of the strike.

I arranged a business trip before the strike was declared, am I on strike or will I be travelling?

You are not permitted to go on a business trip during the strike.

What is a strike?

A strike is a measure used to exert pressure in order to speed up stalled negotiations during a period of no agreement. A strike applies specifically to work, meaning that everyone who is covered by it at the workplace will be affected by it, regardless of whether they are unionised or not.

No work is done during a strike, not at or outside the workplace.

Why have the strikes been declared?

Despite the negotiations, no new agreements have been reached, and the negotiations are deadlocked. The measures used to exert pressure, such as strikes and bans on overtime work and work-related travel during free time, aim to help bring about new collective agreements in the industries as soon as possible.

What does YTN want?

The issue is about the level and structure of salary increases. YTN wants the increases to be adequate and that they would at least secure the purchasing power of employees. They must also include a general increase element. The general increase needs to be clearly higher than the possible instalment allocated by the employer.

Why have negotiations not resulted in a solution?

The negotiations have been going on intensively since the autumn. The employer’s offer has been unacceptable both in terms of the level and model of salary increases. The rate of increase and the share of the general increase for all have been totally inadequate, given the projected inflation and productivity growth in the sector.

Do I have to participate in the strikes?

The senior salaried employees working in specific companies in the technology industry must take part in the strikes. You must remember that the strike applies to work. If you participate in the strikes, you support the work of the negotiators and prevent the employer from unilaterally dictating the terms from becoming more common.

Should I be on strike or not?

If you are subject to a collective agreement for senior salaried employees in the technology industry and you work in a company that has been declared on strike, you must be on strike.

However, if you’re not sure if you should be on strike or not, you should first contact your shop steward and discuss the situation with them. If that’s not an option, please contact our on-call service.

You can check the collective agreement that applies to you in your employment contract.

Is protection work not covered by the strike?

The following protection works are specifically defined to not be affected by the strike:

  • The work performed to protect human life and health.
  • The work performed to prevent serious environmental threats.
  • The work carried out at the occupational health centres of the companies.
  • Fire and rescue tasks.

Where do we apply for possible work permits?

The employer is always the one who applies for the permits. YTN’s Central Strike Committee processes applications within five working days. Applications must be submitted to this e-mail address: tyoluvat@ytn.fi 

I am an agency contract worker, do I participate in the strike?

If you have been hired out to a company that is on strike, you are on strike as well. Keep in mind that the strike concerns all work, which means work cannot be carried out even in this kind of arrangement. (In hired work, the hiring company has the right to manage the work).

I work for a subcontractor, but I do my work in a company on strike; do I participate in the strike?

If work is done as a subcontract to a company on strike, you should work normally. In this case, one strictly adheres to one’s own work according to the employment contract. (In subcontracted work, the subcontracting company has the right to manage the work).

I work on a zero-hour contract, do I participate in the strike?

If you are employed on a zero-hour contract in a company that is covered by the strike and you have a work shift coming up before the strike begins, you are on strike and, as a member, you are entitled to apply for strike allowance. If you do not have any work shifts coming up during the strike, it means you are neither working nor on strike, and you should not schedule any new shifts during the strike.

Are the strike measures illegal?

The measures are legal. All those covered by the agreements are obligated to take part in carrying out the measures to ensure that the industry maintains an adequate general increase and that a new collective agreement is reached.

Do I need to inform my employer of my participation in the strike?

You do not have to. YTN has made the necessary announcements to the national conciliator and employers. The employee has the right to participate in carrying out the measures that aim to exert pressure (such as a strike) and the employer is not permitted to stop them. If the employer asks you the names of the strike participants, you are not obligated to share them.

The employer threatens or intends to collect lists of names of the people carrying out these measures. What should I do?

Threats or collecting lists of names should not be tolerated. The employer does not have the right to exert pressure on anyone not to participate in industrial action. If you encounter this kind of situation, please contact your shop steward or YTN’s on-call service!

There are no grounds for making threats and collecting lists of names is not permitted. Nobody will be punished for participating in legal industrial action, which they are fully entitled to do.

Do I get paid for the duration of the strike?

No salary is paid for the duration of the strike. YTN pays strike allowance to those YTN union members who have joined the union before the start of the strike and who take part in the strike.  Further information (in Finnish) on becoming a member.

How can I apply for and receive a strike allowance?

A strike allowance is paid to аny YTN union member who participates in the strike.

In order to receive the allowance, you must have joined the union before the strike begins. A strike allowance will not be paid until the membership fee is paid.

You can apply for the allowance through YTN’s strike allowance system after the strike has ended. A link to the system and instructions on how to apply for the allowance will be added here later.

Does annual leave accumulate during the strike?

Annual leave does not accumulate during strike days. However, if the normal rule on working time (14 days/month or 35 hours/month) is met, the strike will not affect the number of vacation days in the next holiday season.

Will the strike affect my annual holiday?

The start of the strike does not interrupt the annual holiday that the employee is already on. The employer must pay the employee their holiday pay and holiday period salary as usual before they go on holiday. If the strike begins before the annual holiday you have already agreed on, the employee will be on strike and the annual holiday is postponed. If the strike and the previously agreed annual holiday start on the same day, the employee will be on their annual holiday. An employee cannot be ordered to start their holiday during the strike.

What if I get sick?

If you fall ill before the strike begins, you must be paid sick pay also for the duration of the strike. In this case, immediately deliver a doctor’s certificate and other relevant documents to your employer. If, on the other hand, you fall ill after the strike has already begun, you do not have to be paid sick pay for the strike days. Instead, you are entitled to daily sickness insurance allowance.

If your workplace uses a self-declaration procedure for sick leave, your employer may not approve the absence without a certificate, in which case no salary will be paid.

What does an overtime ban mean?

A person must follow their regular daily working time in accordance with their employment contract. Additional or overtime work must not be carried out and work must be carried out only during regular working time.

Overtime is overtime, regardless of how it is done or how it is compensated. Additional work is work beyond regular working time (7.5 or 8 hours, depending on the employment contract), which is not yet overtime. Within the framework of flexible working hours, it is advisable to follow the working time in the employment contract, i.e. there is no flexible hours accumulation.

These bans are legal and easy to comply with because, under the Working Hours Act, the employee’s consent is always required to work overtime.

What does the ban on work-related travel during leisure time mean?

The ban means that people travel for work only within the regular working time stated in the person’s employment contract. As with the overtime ban, it is legal and easy to comply with.

Who is affected by overtime and work-related travel during leisure time?

The bans apply to all senior salaried employees working in the contract branches of the technology industry and the consulting sector. These bans also apply to people whose salary covers potential overtime and travel outside of working time.

Who is a picketer?

During a strike, a picketer is a person who is a YTN member and monitors the implementation and organisation of the strike. They try to make sure that no work is carried out during the strike. They share information on the measures used to exert pressure, inform people who come to the workplace about the strike and monitor the actions of employers.  Possible strikebreakers must be reported to the workplace strike committee. Picketers do not have the right to prevent anyone from entering the workplace or from assembling without permission inside the workplace.

Can I be a picketer?

Of course. It is advisable to do so. Contact the strike committee for your workplace or your shop steward.

Where can I get more information or answers to my questions?

Your first point of contact should be your shop steward or the workplace’s strike committee. YTN’s on-call number is +358 (09) 427 277 66 or by e-mail at lakko@ytn.fi. The opening hours of the on-call number.

You can find all the information regarding the negotiations (in Finnish) from our website.

 

Please also make sure that your contact and workplace information are up to date in your union’s membership register!

 

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