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Workers in tourism and restaurant sector accept crisis-era contract

The main groups in the hospitality sector reached a collective agreement but put off wage talks until next year.

La Famiglia ravintolan ravintolasali Flamingossa.
The deal was reached after a tightening of coronavirus restrictions on restaurants. Image: Eleni Paspatis / Yle

The Finnish Hospitality Association (MaRa) has agreed with the Service Union United PAM on employment conditions in the sector until the spring of 2022.

The collective agreement struck on Thursday covers employees and managers in tourism, restaurants and recreational services.

The deal was reached just two days after the government announced a tightening of coronavirus restrictions on restaurants. As of 8 October, restaurants, bars and nightclubs will have to stop serving at midnight and close by 1am, with earlier hours in the capital region. The later hours are often most lucrative for such establishments – but also seen by health authorities as riskier in terms of spreading the virus.

The contract between PAM and MaRa covers about 85,000 employees. The 18-month contract takes effect immediately and runs through the end of March 2022.

Wage talks next year

However, due to the uncertainty in the sector’s future, perhaps the most crucial part of the agreement – wages – will not be negotiated until next year, scheduled for January and September.

If no deal can be reached on pay, the rest of the collective agreement will expire.

“The business prospects in our field are murky. Therefore, the dates for wage adjustments have been postponed in the hopes that the business outlook in our sector might be clearer by then,” MaRa CEO Timo Lappi said in a statement.

According to PAM President Annika Rönni-Sällinen, this solution was reached in an extremely difficult situation.

“Despite the difficult starting point and without knowing the level of wage increases, this collective agreement had to be accepted,” Rönni-Sällinen said in a statement on Thursday.

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