Guidelines in case of another union’s industrial action

This page contains guidelines for what to do if another union has declared an industrial action in your workplace.

Trade unions operate independently in their decisions to engage in industrial action. A single trade union can only decide on its own members’ participation in an industrial action. SAK, STTK and Akava have agreed on common ground rules in situations where members of different central organisations are employed by the same workplace and one of the unions launches industrial action.

The shop steward at the workplace must ensure that JHL’s members comply with the principles agreed on between the employee confederations and refuse to perform work covered by a strike. If non-compliance is observed, the union’s regional office must be contacted.

Members of unions that are not part of the industrial action perform their own work, but not the work that is covered by the industrial action.

This principle is complied with also in situations where the work is the same or nearly the same as the work that is subject to the strike action. They therefore do not perform other people’s work by changing their shifts, working overtime or by stepping up the pace of their work.

The exception to this rule is emergency work and, for public servants, protection work, which carry an obligation to be performed in order to safeguard human life, health or property. If the employer demands that certain work be performed as protection or emergency work during the industrial action, they must always contact the respective shop steward before such work is started.

Impediment to work because of another organisation’s industrial actions

If the employee’s work is impeded by another organisation’s industrial actions (e.g. strike), the employee must notify their employer that they are at the employer’s disposal. Thus, the employer is obligated to pay salary to the employee.

The collective agreement KVTES makes it possible to change work duties temporarily for eight weeks. The employee then has the right to a salary that corresponds to their actual job. Temporary work must not be work subject to the strike action.

If the employer refuses to pay salary, one must inquire the employer what their reasons for this are. The employer’s answer must be written down for possible future investigation.

If the employer’s measures impede the employee’s work and salary payment, the employee has the right to the union’s strike benefit in this situation.

Working in an agreement sector other than the sector of one’s own union

A member of JHL is on strike if he/she works under the agreement sector of another trade union that is part of the SAK confederation of trade unions and the trade union in question engages in industrial action. In such cases, the member complies with the strike guidelines of the trade union in question. The union organising the industrial action pays JHL’s member the strike benefit.

This approach also applies to members of other trade unions that are part of the SAK confederation of trade unions, in the event that the industrial action has been decided by JHL. In such cases, the members of other SAK-affiliated unions apply for their strike benefit from JHL.