An all time record level of Finns say that they want to see a new centralised incomes settlement hammered out among union and employers' federations and the government. A fresh Gallup poll commissioned by the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions shows that nearly 70 percent prefer a centralized agreement to union-by-union contracts.
The mechanics of the labour market reflect a long tradition of contracts which go far beyond just wage and salary packages.
The nation's main confederations of employers and employees are able to negotiate centralised incomes settlements. However, when joined by the government, which is often the case, they can conclude three-way incomes policy agreements covering not only wages but also employment policy and developments in working life, benefits and contributions to social welfare and pension schemes, taxation and the principles of good practice in the labour market.
Incomes policy agreements in recent years have sought to reduce unemployment, to maintain a low level of inflation and to secure improvements in working life. While wage increases have been moderate, the purchasing power of employees has improved due to restraint in pricing policy.
The latest poll shows that 69% of the Finns back this model.
While a majority of people interview named higher wages as a real concern, they say that it is even more important that a centralised incomes settlement be achieved to ensure job security and guarantee high levels of social benefits.
Finnish News Agency, SAK