10,000 people in Helsinki, protesting against government cuts to unemployment benefits (photo: PRO)

10,000 people in Helsinki, protesting against government cuts to unemployment benefits (photo: PRO).

Photo: Trade Union Pro, Helsinki, FInland

Photo: Trade Union Pro, Helsinki, FInland

10,000 people in Helsinki, protesting against government cuts to unemployment benefits (photo: PRO) Photo: Trade Union Pro, Helsinki, FInland

Finland: 10,000 people protest against government slashing unemployment security

02.02.2018

Trade unions in Finland took to the capital Helsinki’s Senate Square today, to oppose the Government’s new legislation aimed at cutting unemployment benefits.

At least 10,000 workers and unionists gathered in Helsinki to protest against the new legislation. which may see jobseekers lose 4.65 per cent of their benefits if considered to not be searching for employment actively enough.

The new legislation would mean that job-seekers must either find employment for 18 hours during a three-month period, receive entrepreneurial income of at least 241 euro, participate in a five-day training course, or be available for other services offered by the employment offices.

Unions have opposed the proposal from the outset, which also breeches the tripartite national Competitiveness Pact from 2016. The pact was reluctantly accepted by the unions on the condition of no further cuts to unemployment security.

Jorma Malinen, president of IndustriALL affiliate Trade Union Pro, says in a statement that the unions have kept their promises, but the government has not.

There have already been statements from the Government that the next issues on the list are the generally binding character of collective agreements and making salaries flexible downwards. We are here on the Senate Square to oppose this.