Notices of industrial action in the financial sector – Employers continue to demand the right to dictate working hours
Collective bargaining in the financial sector has been going on for five months, since 2 October 2017. No conclusive progress has been made.
The deadlock in these negotiations primarily results from the employers’ demand to open up weekend work. The banks want to achieve the unilateral right to dictate working hours without restrictions. The feedback received from its members by the Nousu Trade Union on this issue has been unequivocally negative.
The employee side has been prepared to compromise in this matter by extending the current system of local agreements to cover weekend work, but the employer side has been completely unyielding. This is strange, especially because the feedback received from the banks’ personnel shows that there are plenty of volunteers for Sunday work too, as long as the terms are agreed on locally and balancing work and private life remains possible. This is a change that will profoundly influence working conditions for a long time to come.
Although employers in general have publicly called for more local agreements in various matters, employers in the financial sector oppose them, representing an extremely backward-looking management culture.
In addition, employers have rejected virtually all proposals made by the employees, for example on ways to develop the pay system. This is another factor that has contributed to making it impossible to come to a reasonable result in the negotiations.
At the same time in December, Nordea started massive lay-off talks to terminate the employment of almost 500 people. The bank staff already feel they are stretched to their limits at work, and now the employers are trying to get even more out of them by changing the working-hour provisions.
Because the employers have not been willing to seek a balanced solution at the negotiating table, the employee side is forced to speed up the negotiations with extensive industrial action.
Nousu Trade Union has today 11.3. submitted a notice to the National Conciliator and the employers about a new strike that will affect Nordea’s operations in Finland, from 3 April 2018 at 6:00 to 6 April 2018 at 23:59.
Trade Union Pro has today submitted notices to the National Conciliator and the employers about strikes first in the OP Financial Group from 26 to 29 March 2018 and then in the Savings Bank Group and elsewhere in the financial sector from 9 to 12 April 2018. Danske Bank’s staff association Pro has also notified Danske Bank about industrial action from 9 to 12 April 2018.
The practical effects of the strike will be the closing of bank offices and a decline in customer service.
The employee side continues to pursue a balanced result in the negotiations for the financial sector.
For more information contact:
Chairman Kari Ahola, tel. +358 50 3241458
Executive Director Minna Ahtiainen, tel. +358 50 38 77 030