7 reasons to belong to a trade union
When you start work, join a trade union. In Finland, the majority of employees belongs to the trade union of their sector. You can also join a trade union already during you study time.
1 The trade union is on your side
It negotiates on your behalf on salaries and other conditions of employment with the employers’ federation. This results in a collective agreement that gives you better conditions of employment than those stipulated by law.
2 Shop stewards advise and help you at the workplace
The shop steward represents the trade union and supervises that the employer complies with the collective agreement. If you have problems with the employer, you can always report it to a shop steward who can investigate the matter with the employer on your behalf.
3 The trade union’s employment counselling will help you if you have problems with the employer
You can call your union and ask for advice. If required, trade union lawyers can help you to resolve any disputes with your employer, even in court.
4 Trade unions enforce the interests of employees when laws are decreed
Thanks to trade unions, in Finland the working week is 5 days; the working day is no more than 8 hours, and employees are entitled to holidays, overtime compensation and holiday payments.
5 The trade union provides training, events and a community
You can find information about the training and events provided by trade unions, for example, on the web pages or social media channels of your trade union.
6 Your unemployment benefit improves if you also join an unemployment fund
When you join a trade union, you can also join the unemployment fund of your sector. If you are unemployed, the unemployment fund can pay you a unemployment daily allowance. It is usually better than the basic daily allowance paid by Kela. If you only belong to an unemployment fund, but not a trade union, you can receive unemployment benefit, but the fund will not help you with any problems at the workplace.
7 You receive benefits and discounts
Members of trade unions may receive discounts in, for example, petrol, insurances or hotel prices. Some trade unions offer, for example, cheap holiday cottages.
How to join the trade union
If you do not know what your trade union is
- ask the shop steward at your workplace
- call SAK’s service number 0800 179 279
- check your union’s web page at www.liitot.fi.
Fill in the subscription form on the trade union’s web pages. You can find links to subscription forms at www.liitot.fi
If you need help, the shop steward at your workplace helps.
Members of a trade union pay ta membership fee to the union. You can pay the membership fees yourself or ask the employer to pay them from your salary.
Local trade unions and staff associations
When you are member of a trade union, you usually belong to one of its local trade unions or staff associations. The local trade union or staff association brings together all members of the same trade union working in the workplace or the company. There are also local trade unions and staff associations that include all members of the same sector or region, in which case employees from several different workplaces may belong to them.