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Unions agree pay deals in eight sectors

Industrial workers will see pay rises of 3.3 percent.

Finnish unions and employers are locked in talks across multiple sectors this winter. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

The Industrial Union has announced it has agreed new collective agreements in eight different sectors of the economy, averting strikes planned for the coming weeks.

The sectors include the chemicals industry, forest products industries and the media sector.

Pay is to rise by 3.3 percent over two years, and the contested 'competitiveness pact' will be gradually phased out.

The pact had added 24 hours of work per year without monetary compensation for most workers in Finland.

If the Chemical Industries union’s board accepts the deal, they will also call off a two-week strike due to begin next week.

That strike would have shut down oil refineries and cause wide-scale disruption.

Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen had used special powers to postpone the strikes on 27 January because of the disruption it would cause.

Can you tell your TES from your Kiky? Our All Points North podcast tried to explainthe unique Finnish system for negotiating between employers and trades unions. You can listen to the show via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, iTunes or your normal pod player using the RSS feed.