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Tech industry reaches contract deal, strike threat fades

If the deal is approved by the Industrial Union's board, it could serve as a template for collective agreements in other sectors.

Riku Aalto, chair of the Industrial Union, arriving at the National Conciliator's Office for talks on Tuesday, January 4. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle
Yle News

A threatened strike appears to have been averted in the Finnish tech sector, which includes the metal, electronics and IT sectors.

The two sides in the labour dispute reached a deal on Tuesday evening in negotiations mediated by National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala.

The agreement must still be approved by the board of the Industrial Union, which meets on Friday afternoon. The board of the employers' group, Technology Industries of Finland, gave its green light to a new collective agreement on Wednesday.

Jarkko Ruohoniemi, CEO of the Technology Industry Employers of Finland, which represents most major companies in the tech industries group, and Industrial Union chair Riku Aalto both said on Twitter that they would not comment on the outcome of the negotiations until after both sides' executive boards have discussed its content.

The Industrial Union had threatened a large-scale strike if wage increases were not agreed. The strike warning issued on 30 December covered more than 40,000 employees in Finland.

The strike appears to have been shelved, as Aalto did not mention a walkout – or any cancellation of it – in his tweets.

The two sides have remained tight-lipped over the size of wage increases and how many years the collective agreement would be valid.

Relations between the two sides have been strained since last March, when the Technology Industries group announced its withdrawal from the traditional Finnish system of universally binding collective agreements.

In the past, agreements between the Technology Industries and the Industrial Union have often served a blueprint for deals in other sectors.

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