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Commerce employs approximately 300,000 persons in Finland. The representation of interests of Akava union members working in the industry is managed through Senior Salaried Employees YTN.

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Who is a senior salaried employee in Commerce?

Senior salaried employees work in responsible expert assignments, as middle managers as well as in jobs assisting the business management. Their work is characterised by independency, responsibility and preparedness provided by expertise as well as higher education.

Approximately 13,000 senior salaried employees work in Commerce and they are organised in YTN’s member unions. The largest member groups in Commerce are Masters of Economic Sciences, Bachelors of Business Administration, engineers, Masters of Science in Technology and lawyers. The most common professional titles are, for example, sales, purchase, marketing, HR, finance or customer service managers, purchaser, regional director, maintenance or sales engineer.

Where do the senior salaried employees in Commerce work?

The biggest groups are Kesko, SOK and Stockmann. In addition, senior salaried employees work in the undertakings of technical wholesale trade, retail and grocery stores, import companies and special stores.

The employer union, Suomen Kaupan Liitto (Finnish Commerce Federation), has 2,700 companies as its members, and of those approximately 75 per cent employ fewer than 20 persons and there are only approximately 40 companies that have over 500 employees.

Lobbying of senior salaried employees in the commerce industry

The collective labour agreement in the commerce industry is concluded between the Finnish Commerce Federation and SAK’s Palvelualojen ammattiliitto (PAM) (Service Union United PAM), and it applies to “employees fully capable to work under the Finnish Working Hours Act”.

The collective labour agreement of the commerce industry is declared generally applicable by the Committee Affirming the General Applicability of Collective Agreements (yleissitovuuden vahvistamislautakunta). The scope of the collective labour agreement covers the employees and salaried employees. Senior salaried employees do not have their own collective labour agreement.

Senior salaried employees are recognised in the industry as their own personnel group. They are represented at the workplace level by shop stewards and elected representatives. In the largest workplaces, the senior salaried employees have their own staff associations.

After negotiations held in May 2017, an agreement was reached in the commerce industry under the leadership of the National Conciliator that was accepted by both parties, Senior Salaried Employees YTN and the Finnish Commerce Federation, on 22 May. The solution reached is not the collective labour agreement that YTN pursued, but it gives wide possibilities for local agreeing.

A consensus on the cooperation between the unions and on the promotion of dialogue was found in the negotiations. At the local level, the aim is to discuss the themes “voice” and “time”, which are important to YTN. The first theme contains the development of the personnel’s representation system and the increase of the senior salaried employees’ possibilities to participate within a company. The second theme focuses on working hour issues and well-being at work.

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