Akava: An independent Akava will best serve the interests of the membership

15.1.2015 09:05

Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland, will remain an independent and expansive confederation in accordance with its strategy. The affiliate unions within Akava have reviewed the initiative regarding a possible merger of the central trade union confederations, and only one out of 35 affiliates is in favour of further investigations.

"In keeping with our strategy, Akava endeavours to reinforce the supervision of the interests for our members and to proactively renew the union activities. This requires that we exist as a neutral and independent central organisation. We have already presented several proposals to reform the structures of working life, to reduce unemployment and to encourage innovation of new work", says Sture Fjäder, President of Akava.

Akava has approximately 600,000 members, who are mainly employed in professional, managerial and executive positions requiring special expertise and, in most cases, higher education.

"All trade union confederations pursue to renew their activities and reinforce their supervision of interests work. This is quite natural and serves the benefit of their members. However, the working life challenges faced by the members of, for example, SAK (Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions) or Akava differ to such an extent that the merger of these two central organisations would not benefit the members of either", says Olli Luukkainen, First Vice President of Akava and President at OAJ (Trade Union of Education in Finland).

In the near future, Akava will focus on issues related to new work, new jobs and competence development in Finland. Investments in education, research and innovation, the working life as a whole, as well as tax and social policies must support these goals. Akava urges for a prompt initiation of actions to reform the working life structures.

"The nature of the work of Akava members and the position of highly educated people in working life call for independent and strong supervision of interests. For this purpose, Akava has proposed actions to renew the law on working hours and to lower the threshold to employ people who have been out of work for an extended period. We intend to challenge other organisations and politicians to work for this aim in the future as well", explains Lotta Savinko, Vice President of Akava and Interest Supervision Director at SEFE (Finnish Association of Business School Graduates).

Akava considers it extremely important that the trade union confederations continue to intensify and develop their mutual collaboration.

"The greatest issues in working life are unemployment and insecurity. Job insecurity is especially common among young people. For some, the work hours spill over into their leisure time, while others are being forced to work without proper employment or social security, and anyone can become dismissed. To solve these problems, all organisations shall engage in extensive and efficient collaboration. We hope, therefore, that the collaboration of the trade union confederations will continue successfully", says Sture Fjäder.

Further information:
Sture Fjäder, President of Akava, tel. +358 400 609 717
Lotta Savinko (SEFE), Vice President of Akava, tel. +358 40 504 4356
Olli Luukkainen (OAJ), First Vice President of Akava, tel. +358 500 652 872