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Thursday's papers: Million-euro pay packets, Metro staff disquiet and Roma discrimination

Thursday's papers feature stories on highly paid executives, discontent among staff on the Helsinki Metro, and concern about discrimination against Roma people.

Ihmisiä menossa metroon
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

On Thursday Kauppalehti looks at the salaries of Finland's business big-hitters. The country's highest-paid exec is Nokia's Rajeev Suri, who made a total of 6.4 million euros in 2017. That's composed of a basic salary of 1.16 million euros and a hefty 5.3 million euro bonus. That bumper deal is some 30 percent down on the previous year, however.

The paper includes a table of the 30 CEOs who made more than a million euros in 2017, and looks at the rationale behind the compensation. Nokia publishes extensive background on its pay and bonus system, explaining who gets what. It's very much an exception among Finnish companies, reports KL, but that will soon be a thing of the past.

That's because EU rules on information available to shareholders are set to change, meaning firms will have to explain why they pay what they do and how the numbers fit into their overall strategy.

Metro moaning

Iltalehti reports on staffing problems at the Helsinki Metro operator, HKL. The firm has had to cancel services recently due to a lack of personnel, and IL has interviewed drivers to find out why so many are off work.

The atmosphere at work, according to one driver, is so bad that people are leaving to take up new professions. The employer punishes mistakes too harshly, according to the driver, and many drivers feel under-valued.

"The employers' regard for employees is zero," said one driver.

That results in a lot of sick leave, according to a former shop steward interviewed by IL. Passenger discontent doesn't help either, with capacity issues and teething problems on the recently-opened western extension bringing some angry feedback to the driver's' cab --including some travellers showing the middle finger to drivers.

Roma sidelined

Helsingin Sanomat carries an opinion piece on the discrimination the author suspects is suffered by Finland's Roma minority in the job market. One acquaintance has sent 400 job applications and received only four (negative) replies, according to the author.

Another was in danger of having to drop out of his studies because he could not find a place to conduct his obligatory work placement. Both had Roma names, and the author asks whether readers would be prepared to change their names to try and get a fairer response when applying for jobs.

She ends the piece with a plea for employers to give everyone a fair shake when reading job applications.

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