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Overtime ban ends, retail sector reaches negotiation result

A collective labour agreement has been reached between some 250,000 employees and their employers in Finland's retail trade sector, effectively rescinding a ban on overtime work.

Kaupan kassa.
The commercial sector employs a quarter of a million people in Finland. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

After weeks of negotiations, the retail companies of the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Service Union United (PAM) have reached an agreement on work conditions for the next two years. The collective agreement will become official and the terms will become public only after both group's boards have approved the terms of the deal in the coming week.

The board of the service workers' union PAM that represented the 250,000 or so workers in the negotiations is scheduled to meet on March 6. The agreement extends to shop staff, office administrators, and warehouse and transport personnel that work in the commercial sector.

The sector had been negotiating a new agreement since January 11.

Real estate sector still in talks, hospitality gains 3.5 percent pay rise

Collective agreements in Finland normally agree on pay, working time, sick pay, compensation for weekday public holidays and other minimum conditions that employers must apply to all their employees. Agreements in most sectors are valid for two years.

A similar agreement that was reached last weekend for the hospitality and leisure sector was approved by PAM and the respective employer federations the following Monday. In the agreement, personal remuneration will increase by 1.8 percent at the start of May 2018 and then again by 1.7 percent at the start of May 2019, among other things. The collective agreement in the hotel, restaurant and leisure sector covers around 85,000 employees and supervisors.

Talks between employees and employers in the real estate sector, otherwise known as facilities services, are being helped along by the national conciliator's office, as the two parties have yet to reach an understanding. The threat of strike action in this business area is looming, and an overtime ban is already in force.

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