ETF Executive Committee Statement of Support for the Finnish Trade Unions

ETF Executive Committee Statement of Support for the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT and Finnish Trade Unions

  1. In light of the recent attacks on the fundamental rights of workers and trade unions in Finland, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), represented by its highest inter-Congress decision-making body, commits itself to support the workers of the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT and all trade unions in Finland.
  2. The recently formed Orpo-Purra coalition government, led by the National Coalition Party and supported by Swedish People’s Party, the Christian Democrats and the far-right nationalist Finns Party, have developed a comprehensive programme attacking workers’ rights in Finland. These include significant changes in labour law, the right to strike, and the erosion of working conditions as well as a wide range of social welfare reductions (more information available here).
  3. Transport workers and international trade union activism are directly under attack! Solidarity actions will be made lawful only on the decision of an arbiter appointed by the government, with punishments of €200 for strikers when it is found to be illegal. This will severely limit the ability of workers and their trade unions to utilise their main source of power, as well as putting workers under threat when attempting to engage in broader international political actions.
  4. The Finnish government is using international comparisons to push through these changes, but in reality, uses examples only when it suits its agenda. This demands that international trade unions exhibit their opposition to these attacks and that these are not in accordance with European values and social rights.
  5. The ETF support the demands of the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, and all Finnish unions and will show its commitment to this support by supporting the demonstrations planned by these unions over the coming months.