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Home NATIONALLabor movement fears worsening conditions in Finland
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Sat, 02 May, 2015 12:45:23 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, May 2

Anxiety caused by a fear of worsening labor conditions was reflected in the International Labor Day statements in Finland on Friday.

     Addressing a rally in Tampere, central Finland, the chairman of the Central Union of Labor Organizations, Lauri Lyly, said his organization would not join a planned "social contract" at any price.

     Centrist leader Juha Sipilä, supposed to be the prime minister of the next government, has suggested a "social contract" aiming at improving the competitive edge of the country and halting the growth of international debt.

     Lyly said the responses to Sipilä 's suggestion so far indicated that there were efforts under way to curtail job security and terms. He said the labor movement would not accept discarding the universal applicability of union tariffs.

     In Finland, the legislation blocks employers from paying less than what the prevailing union contract of a sector offers.

     Labor Day 2015 was celebrated against the backdrop of a shift in the political behavior of industrial wage earners.

     In the recent parliamentary elections in Finland, which concluded on April 19, many of the wage earners' votes went to the populist Finns Party, while the traditional left wing parties suffered major losses.

     Analysing the situation, Juha Akkanen, a political affairs writer at the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, noted that the Finns Party was now the largest "workers' party".

     As an indicator of the change, the chairman of the parliamentary caucus of the populist Finns Party, Jari Lindstrom, is a former paper industry worker and activist.

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