On this page, your trade union JHL has gathered information and instructions related to its strikes.

Oppose working life being torn apart, join JHL

Trade Union JHL looks after its members’ terms and conditions of employment, also by means of industrial action, if necessary. When there are storms in working life, the trade union is your safe harbour. Become a member before a strike starts to participate in the strike and get strike benefit.

Strike-related instructions to members

Preparing for a strike, being on strike and returning to work after the strike

The industrial action notice, or strike warning, always describes what work the strike applies to.  A strike decision by JHL is binding on its members.

A strike warning always indicates the time of day when the strike begins and when work must end. After that time, no one should go to work.

Other JHL members, members of other unions and non-unionised employees are not allowed to do work subject to the strike action.

Work covered by a strike cannot be outsourced to temporary agency workers or other temporary workforce. In accordance with international practices, job agencies must not supply employees to companies subject to a legal industrial action.

Once a strike warning has been issued, you cannot schedule an annual holiday for the strike period.

How to prepare for a strike:

  • Work normally in accordance with the shift roster until the strike begins.
  • Do not do work in advance.
  • You must also not leave any work undone before the strike.
  • When you leave the workplace, take with you any personal belongings that you need during the strike. At the employer’s request, you must hand over any fringe benefits (such as a phone or computer).
  • Check that you have the contact information of your shop steward and/or strike committee.
  • Follow the union’s communications: JHL’s website, social media channels, member letters and other communications. Your shop steward will give you more information.
  • Check your membership information in myJHL (e-mail address, phone number, employer, workplace, occupation). In the event of a strike, we will send messages to members’ personal e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
  • Check your membership information in myJHL.
  • Also recommend your non-unionised co-workers to join the union.
  • Follow the union’s instructions
  • Participate in monitoring the strike by, say, being a picketer or a picketer supporter
  • Prepare in advance and notify the shop steward and/or strike committee if the employer tries to exert pressure.
  • Attend strike meetings
  • JHL members who are not on strike will continue to do their own work, they do not do the work of those on strike.
  •  Follow the union’s communications
  •  Remember that the only reliable source of information during the industrial action is the union.

Do not do work that is covered by the strike!

Remember that the employer must not exert any pressure on you in any way if you are taking part in a union-organised industrial action! JHL is prepared for countermeasures. For more information, contact your shop steward or the regional office.

Return to work after the strike according to the shift roster or the agreement on ending the strike.

The agreement on ending the strike sets forth the measures and conditions to end the strike.

Strike benefit

Apply for strike benefit after the strike is over through myJHL. You can apply for it within 2 months from the strike. After that, the application system will be closed.

Amount of strike benefit

Trade Union JHL makes a separate decision about the amount of the strike benefit for each strike. We will reveal the amount of the benefit on a case-by-case basis in messages sent to members. Remember to check myJHL to ensure your contact information is up to date.

PLEASE NOTE! Concerning a week-long strike, strike benefit will be paid for a maximum of five days. This decision goes for all of JHL’s week-long strikes.

Whom the benefit is paid to

The benefit is paid to members in the strike location who have participated in the strike.
To get the benefit, one must fulfil the following terms and conditions:

  • The member has joined the union before the strike started. At least the first membership fee must be paid before the strike benefit can be paid.
  • Even “old” members must have paid their membership fees.
  • The member must abide by the decisions and instructions issued by JHL.

If you joined the union right before the strike, there may be a slight delay before the strike benefit application form appears in myJHL. This has to do with a delay in processing membership applications.

When will the benefit be paid?

JHL’s strike benefit will be paid to your account as soon as possible. We process strike benefit applications continuously.

Please remember that the benefit is not paid automatically. You must apply for it separately in myJHL within two months from the end of the strike.

Strike benefit will not be paid

  • for working days/shifts done by those with a permission to work or done as emergency work
  • to those who have joined JHL midway through the strike.

It is a fraud to apply for the strike benefit on false grounds.

Taxation of the strike benefit

The part of the strike benefit that exceeds EUR 16 is income subject to tax (88§, “Tuloverolaki” (= Income Tax Act)decision by Finnish Tax Administration ). It is not necessary to submit your tax card. After the strike is over, JHL will pay benefits once a week. The union will notify the Finnish Tax Administration of the sum of strike benefits paid.

How to apply for the strike benefit in myJHL

  • Log into myJHL
  • The strike benefit application is in the lower left corner of the page.
  • Add your bank account details on the application form, mark your strike days, assure that the information given is correct.
  • Save.
  • After that, the member branch will review and approve the application. The payment will then be ordered. Benefits are paid once a week.

If you haven’t logged into myJHL before, read the instructions on the myJHL info page.

Members of other SAK-affiliated unions and the strike benefit

For strikes declared by JHL, members of other SAK-affiliated unions apply for the benefit through an online link. JHL’s regional office in the strike area will give you the online link for applying for the benefit.

Frequently asked questions about strike action

A political strike is a strike declared by the trade union. Its primary goal is not to affect collective agreements or employers, but rather the purpose is to pursue political or societal goals.

Participation in a political strike is an acceptable reason for absence, and the employer cannot impose measures on the employees for their participation. The #SeriousGrounds strikes are political strikes. They oppose the Government Programme entries that will bring misery to working life and decrease unemployment security and employees’ income. Public servants cannot take part in political strikes. More information about the weakenings in the Government Programme

No salary is paid for the strike period. However, pay and other receivables arising from the employment relationship that have fallen due will be paid during the strike on the normal salary payment dates. Employees are also not entitled to fringe benefits offered by the employer, such as lunch vouchers, for the strike days.

The strike benefit is paid only to union members who have paid their membership fees. If the strike lasts, say, one week (for example from Monday to Sunday or from Tuesday to Monday), the strike benefit will be paid for five days.

A condition for the payment is that you abide by the decisions and instructions issued by the union. The Executive Committee shall decide on the amount of the strike benefit. You can apply for it within 2 months from the end of the strike.

For more information about strike benefit payment, visit the Strikes and other industrial actions page.

Will I be paid a strike benefit if I join JHL?

You will be paid a strike benefit if you joined the union before the strike started. Use the electronic membership form so that we can see your exact joining date. At least the first membership fee must be paid before the strike benefit can be paid. When your membership has been confirmed, you will get instructions on paying the membership fee.

If you don’t normally do the work in question, you should also not do it during a strike. Notify your supervisor that you don’t do work subject to a strike action. If your supervisor exerts pressure on you, contact your shop steward or regional office.

Don’t do work subject to a strike action!

Also see the guidelines of your trade union JHL: Guidelines in case of another union’s industrial action

As a general rule, all JHL members in the selected workplace will participate in the strike. The decision is a union decision (= made by the union’s administration) and it is binding on the members. Employees do not need to separately inform their supervisors that they will participate in the strike. Employees have a legal right to participate in the strike.

It is not permitted for the employer to exert pressure on employees who participate in industrial action organised by the union. All employer countermeasures must be warded off and false rumours refuted, and members must immediately inform a shop steward or branch official about all countermeasures. They will in turn notify the union’s regional office. For more information, contact the shop steward or regional office.

No, you are not obligated to tell your supervisor whether you are a union member or not. Union membership is particularly sensitive personal information. That is why membership information is protected with special care by the General Data Protection Regulation. If you observe a data protection violation in your workplace, report it immediately to the regional office.

All employees will not necessarily be on strike, but they will also not be carrying out strikers’ work tasks. The union’s industrial action notice will contain information on whom the strike concerns.

It is important that those JHL members who are not on strike will only perform their own work tasks and not the tasks of those on strike.

Those who are working shall refuse to perform any of the tasks of those on strike, for example by agreeing to change their tasks or work shifts.

Do not perform work that falls within the scope of the strike!

JHL determines the strike limits. The union decides the work tasks that the strike applies to, regardless of who performs them. As a rule, the occupational safety and health representatives that the strike limits apply to participate in the strike.

When determining the strike limits, one should however consider that the occupational safety and health representative represents all the employees of their workplace, also non-unionised ones. A JHL member working as the occupational safety and health representative of their workplace also represents the co-workers who are not JHL members. During a strike, some of the employees represented by the representative are on strike, some are not. Because of the nature of occupational safety and health cooperation, it would be important to ensure if possible, also during a strike, that the employees are represented in the cooperation.

Most occupational safety and health representatives manage their position of responsibility alongside their own job commitments in such a way that some of their working hours fall under a so-called exemption period. During the exemption period, the occupational safety and health representative will manage their cooperation duties related to occupational safety and health. During the rest of their working hours, the occupational safety and health representative carries out tasks in accordance with their employment contract.

If the strike applies to the occupational safety and health representative’s own work tasks, the representative, too, is on strike. The deputy representative will then carry out necessary cooperation duties related to occupational safety and health during the strike. If all deputy representatives belong to the trade union that the strike applies to, and the strike also applies to their work tasks, they will all be on strike.

In cases like this, workplaces should agree on the measures for managing employee representation in occupational safety and health cooperation in necessary situations that arise during the strike (such as participation in occupational safety and health inspection).

Full-time occupational safety and health representatives, i.e. those who have been fully exempted from work, only engage in occupational safety and health cooperation. A full-time occupational safety and health representative will manage their position of responsibility during an industrial action.

It is advisable to belong to the union that negotiates the collective agreement for your sector. If you work in a JHL agreement sector which is on strike and you are a member of an SAK-affiliated union, you will receive the strike benefit. Check if your union is an SAK-affiliated union.

When the industrial action has been decided by JHL, the members of other SAK-affiliated unions apply for their strike benefit from JHL.

Once a strike warning has been issued, annual holidays cannot be scheduled for the strike period. A holiday cannot be scheduled to start during a strike that has already begun. If your annual holiday began before the strike, it will continue in spite of the strike, i.e. you will be on an annual holiday and not on strike. The employer has to pay the salary as usual for the duration of the holiday.

If the strike continues after your holiday ends, you will have to notify the employer that you are returning from the holiday and going on strike – otherwise your absence may be interpreted as a so-called unauthorised absence. It is best to submit the notice in writing.

Annual holidays taken during the strike are equated with workdays when future annual holidays are calculated, i.e. annual holidays are accrued during this time.

If the strike begins before a confirmed annual holiday begins, the annual holiday will be automatically cancelled. The employer is obligated to grant the cancelled annual holiday at a later time. If the annual holiday continues after the strike ends, the employee will stay on the annual holiday.

Whether an employee is on strike or holiday does not depend on when the holiday was confirmed. The industrial action notice does not determine this either. What is decisive is which one actually begins first: the strike or the holiday. This is called a chronological priority principle.

The annual holiday of a public servant may be postponed or, if the holiday has already begun, interrupted, in case postponing or interrupting it is necessary for cogent reasons related to the use of public authority, or if it is necessary in order to carry out work tasks related to health or safety. A strike does not meet the definition of a cogent reason for postponing one’s annual holiday. However, a need for protection work arising from the strike may meet this definition.

If you have booked an occupational health appointment before a short strike begins, it is unlikely that your employer would not allow the appointment. As for illnesses that begin during a strike, the employer may withdraw your right to use occupational health services.

If your sick leave has started before the start of the strike, your right to a sick pay is determined by the collective agreement. Submit your medical certificate concerning the sick leave to the employer before the strike begins.

If the strike has begun before you fell ill, you are not entitled to sick pay. Apply for daily sickness allowance from Kela.

If your sick leave continues after the strike has ended, your right to sick pay is determined by the collective agreement.

An employee who falls ill when on strike should immediately obtain a medical certificate.

No, it does not, if you are not in an employment relationship with the organisation offering the traineeship.

Bear in mind that your traineeship may not be used to break the strike.

You cannot fill in if there are shortages in personnel resources or work performance caused by industrial action. A student’s responsibility differs from an employee’s responsibility. For example, you cannot be left to work alone in a shift.

Contact your shop steward or the regional office to make sure. The union informs separately whether stand-by work falls within the industrial action.

Contact the regional office. You have no obligation or right to perform work covered by a strike.

Yes, you can, if the job is not covered by the industrial action.

You should remember, however, that a ban on overtime and/or shift swaps also applies to stand-in jobs.

If the strike interrupts the work trial briefly, it will not affect the benefits paid by Keva. If the work trial is interrupted for a month or a longer period, the payment of benefits will be discontinued.

For more information, visit Keva’s website.

If a strike is based on a union decision, it is binding on the members. The Criminal Code of Finland prohibits work discrimination, which means that employees must not be placed in an unequal position due to their participation in a strike.

Contact your shop steward if your employer threatens you.

Each threat will be taken seriously and investigated. Do not remain alone in the situation.

JHL’s Executive Committee may also decide on an embargo or a boycott against a company that recruits temporary/external workforce for the duration of a strike, pressures employees to come to work during the strike, changes shifts that have been announced earlier due to a strike or threatens to place employees in an unequal position depending on whether they participate in the strike or not.

An employee’s participation in industrial action (strike) based on a union decision does not entitle the employer to terminate or dismiss the employment contract or to end the employment contract of an employee on a trial period or a fixed-term employee. It is also prohibited for the employer to discriminate against employees who participate in a strike when it comes to decisions on, for example, working hours, pay increases etc. (Criminal Code of Finland, chapter 47).

Of course not. Industrial action is always a matter between the union and the employer. The union is responsible for the situation that arises on behalf of its members in relation to the employer. If it is not possible to discuss the strike in an appropriate manner in your workplace, it is enough for you to say that the strike is the union’s decision. As a member, you have the obligation to abide by the decisions that have been made without it resulting in any consequences for you.

All inappropriate behaviour is to be condemned. Contact your shop steward or regional office if you experience threats.

You should absolutely join the union. Only union members are entitled to the union’s services also during a strike, and the strike benefit is only paid to members.

Join us!

Yes, you can.

Go to your workplace normally in accordance with the shift roster and be available to your employer.

Do not perform work that falls within the scope of the strike!

The obligation to perform protection work only applies to public servants. The employer must issue the order in writing.

If you have an employment contract and you are ordered to perform protection work, you may refuse to perform protection work. Contact your shop steward or, if your workplace lacks one, your regional office.

Public servants can legally participate in industrial action taken on the basis of a decision of the union or branch.

Public servants’ right to strike has been restricted, however. They are not allowed to take part in sympathy and demonstration strikes nor in bans on overtime and shift swaps. In addition, they do not have the right to participate in political strikes.

Public servants are under the obligation to perform protection work also during industrial actions. Protection work is work that is necessary to prevent the health or lives of citizens from being endangered or to protect assets that are specifically endangered due to the industrial action.

The National Dispute Impact Assessment Board assesses whether the announced industrial action will jeopardise society. If it does, the Board must in its decision exhort to cancel the industrial action altogether or to limit it as specified in the decision.

During industrial actions by other unions, public servants are obliged to fulfil their normal service obligation.

The industrial action notice rules out the tasks which, if left undone, could threaten life and/or health. After the industrial action notice has been given, the shop stewards conduct local negotiations, if necessary.

If your family leave has started before the strike, you will be paid your salary for the duration of the family leave in accordance with the collective agreement.

If your family leave begins during the strike, apply for Kela’s daily allowance for those family leave days that intersect with the strike. No strike benefit is paid for the days in question.

Irrespective of when the industrial action takes place, statutory maternity and parental leaves are comparable to employment, also when accruing annual holiday.

If your unemployment began before the strike, the strike will have no impact on the payment of the unemployment allowance. The strike will also have no impact on the payment of unemployment allowance in a lay-off situation if the lay-off notice has been issued before the strike warning and the lay-off begins before the strike begins.

No they can’t, because the right to study leave is based on the Study Leave Act. Thus, your study leave can’t be cancelled, so you can go on leave despite the strike. Unless a separate agreement has been made about paid study leave, the leave is unpaid.

When you’re on study leave, you’re not entitled to strike benefit.

If you have been granted a discretionary leave of absence before a strike, you cannot cancel the leave because of the strike. You will go on leave despite the strike, and no strike benefit will be paid to you. If you are on unpaid leave, you are also not entitled to a salary.

You can also participate in courses during a strike if

  • you have agreed on attending a course before an industrial action notice was issued
  • the course will not take place in the workplace
  • the teacher of the course is not an employer representative
  • you will not have to do overtime work because of the course
  • the course has to do with a position of responsibility or occupational competence needed for managing one’s job.

A lockout is an industrial action by the employer. In a lockout, the employer denies employees access to the workplace and interrupts the payment of salaries.

A picketer is a person monitoring that the strike is implemented.

Picketers’ task is to encourage all those wishing to perform work that is within the scope of the strike to leave the workplace. Picketers maintain order in front of the workplace on strike, distribute strike bulletins, and monitor employers’ actions.

Dependable and calm persons who do not lose their patience even in tough situations are selected as picketers. Picketers represent the union and are therefore also strikers. They do not have the right to enter the workplace or work areas or to use the employer’s equipment.

If you want to be a picketer, contact your shop steward or regional office.

The nature and area of responsibility of the strike committees always depend on the nature of the strike. Strike committees may be regional, local or company-specific. Strike committees are in charge of the strike in their respective areas of responsibility and take care of strike-related tasks.

A regional strike committee, for example, liaises with the shop stewards and contact persons in the locations on strike, among other things.

The only reliable sources of information are the trade union and the strike organisation. First, contact your shop steward. If they are unable to help you, contact your regional office. Follow the union’s communications through the website and social media channels.