How to join the trade union
You join the trade union by completing an application form. You can get a form from the shop steward and your trade union. The membership fee varies by union. The fee is deductible in taxation, which means that you actually pay much less. If so agreed, the employer can deduct the payment directly from the employee's
salary. This is a common practice in Finland.
You should join the trade union responsible for negotiating the collective agreement in your branch. The central organisations also help you to select a suitable trade union.
Why is it important to be a member of the trade union
Finnish wage earners have been building the present labour market model already for a century. If we compare the circumstances of today with those of the early 1900's, the difference is really great. The present model focuses on good co-operation: all wage earners co-operate both at workplaces and trade unions and central organisations. In general the co-operation is smooth also with the employers and public authorities. In Finland the labour movement is an important part of the society.
In addition to collective agreements the members of the trade union also get other protection and different kinds of benefits. Disputes concerning employment are primarily solved at the workplace. The shop steward supports the employee and negotiates with the representative of the employer. If no solution is found the trade union provides a negotiator and negotiating assistance. If even that is insufficient, the union will take the matter either to labour court or to lower court depending on the subject. All this is free for the member of the trade union.
The members can also participate in the training organised by their union, get a union magazine and some insurance
benefits. You get additional information from the shop steward of your workplace, from the unions and from the central organisations.
TRADE UNIONS IN FINLAND
- The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions
Tel +358 20 774 000 www.sak.fi,
- Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees
Tel +358 9 131 521 www.sttk.fi
- The Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals in Finland
Tel +358 20 7489 400 www.akava.fi
TRADE UNIONS IN ESTONIA
- Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions EAKL
Tel +372 641 2800 www.eakl.ee
- Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation
Tel +372 641 9800 www.talo.ee