EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

FINLAND: EIRO CAR on the Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

About

Country: 
Finland
Author: 
Pertti Jokivuori
Institution: 
University of Jyväskylä

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In 2008, the Government passed a new, bold climate and energy strategy for Finland, with insights into climate and energy policy measures up to 2020, and suggestions up to 2050. The goal is to increase the share of renewable energy to 38 per cent by 2020, in line with the obligation proposed for Finland by the EU Commission. At the moment, Electricity is produced in Finland in a versatile way with various different energy sources and production methods. In 2010, the most important energy sources for electricity generation are nuclear power (28,4%), coal (18,5%), hydropower (16,6%), natural gas (14,2%), biomass (13,8%), and peat (9,8%). The share of wind power (0,4%) is small, but growing. The Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET) has conducted three collective agreements in the electricity (energy) sector. Despite the economic crisis, the number of employees in the energy sector has remained relatively stable.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

  • Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)?
  • Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?
  • Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?
  • What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged action towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossile /renewable energy?
  • What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, distribution, and sale separately.

The use of renewable energy in Finland is shaped by national energy and climate policy guidelines and EU directives and policy decisions, notably including the Emission Trading Directive.On 6.11.2008 the Finnish government approved a new long-term National Climate and Energy Strategy, which sets out policies in detail for the period up to 2020, with longer-term policy outlines also envisaged for the period up to 2050.

This strategy distinctly proves that the objectives proposed by the European Commission for Finland regarding the reduction of emissions, promotion of renewable energy, or enhancing the efficiency of energy consumption, cannot be achieved without new, prominent climate and energy policy measures.

Without any new measures, in 2020 the greenhouse emissions of Finland would exceed those of 1990 by approximately 20%, almost completely due to emissions from energy production and industry. 

According to the Commission’s proposal, Finland should, by means of national measures, cut emissions from other sectors, such as transport, house-specific heating and agriculture, by an average of 16% from the 2005 level, by 2020.

The objective of the national energy and climate strategy is to increase the use of renewable sources of energy and their share of energy consumption. In accordance with targets set by the EU, the National Climate and Energy Strategy aims to increase the share of renewable energy in Finland’s primary energy consumption to 38 % by 2020, from a starting point of 28.5% in 2005.

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

  • Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details
  • Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disproportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.
  • Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

The strategic goal set by the Government includes halting and reversing the growth in final energy consumption so that, in 2020, final energy consumption is approximately 310 TWh, i.e. almost equal to the current level. In 2020, without any new measures being taken, energy consumption will be almost 10 per cent lower than where the current trend seems to be leading.

 According to the strategy, in 2020 electricity consumption would be around 98 TWh, while at present it is less than 90 TWh per year. If no new measures are taken, electricity consumption would rise remarkably higher.

In order to achieve the objectives set, the efficiency of energy consumption is to be enhanced, particularly in housing, construction and transport. The range of measures required is broad and will be completed as part of the work of the Energy Efficiency Committee, which is currently underway.

Renewable energy sources provide one fourth of Finland’s total energy consumption and account for more than one fourth of its power generation. The country’s most important renewable sources of energy include bioenergy – wood and wood-based fuels in particular –, hydropower, wind power, ground heat and solar energy. The goal is to increase the share of renewable energy to 38 per cent by 2020, in line with the obligation proposed for Finland by the EU Commission.

This objective is highly challenging, and its achievement will only be possible if the growth in final energy consumption can be reversed.

In order to stimulate a shift to the use of renewable energy, the current support and steering systems will be intensified and structures will be changed. Meeting the obligation would require an intense increase in the use of wood-based energy, waste fuels, heat pumps, biogas and wind energy. For instance, the use of forest chips will be increased by two or three times over current levels, and by 2020; some 6TWh of wind energy will be harnessed for use, which would entail the construction of a minimum of 700 new 3 MW wind power plants in Finland.

 As a new method for promoting renewable energy, a cost-effective feed-in tariff system, operating on market terms as far as possible, will be introduced. This option is being investigated by a working group established by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

As regards electricity sourcing, the Government is committed to ensuring an adequate supply of moderately priced electricity in such a manner that electricity sourcing will simultaneously support other climate and energy policy objectives. In the future, electricity sourcing should continue to be based on a versatile system, diversified by cogeneration of power and heat.

The nation’s own production capacity should be able to provide for peak consumption and possible import disturbances. In constructing Finland’s own capacity, priority will be given to plants that do not emit greenhouse gases, or ones with low emissions, such as combined power and heat plants using renewable fuels, and financially profitable and environmentally acceptable water and wind power plants.

As concerns nuclear power, the Government’s strategy defines the following policy: “According to calculations, in terms of sufficient electric energy, a decision-in-principle as per the Nuclear Energy Act on the additional construction of nuclear energy generation would be necessary in the next few years, i.e. during the current Government term, to facilitate the replacement of condensing power capacity causing emissions, with capacity with no emissions, and to improve the self-sufficiency of electricity sourcing. The consideration concerning a decision-in-principle will, however, be based on the premise that nuclear power will not be constructed in this country for the purposes of the permanent export of electricity.”

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  • Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)
  • Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES
  • Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)
  • The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations
  • Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy (Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö, TEM) has made calculations of employment impact of energy policies of prospective changes. According these estimations, the favour of renewable energy sources could increase the number of jobs as follows:

  • The employment impact of the direct investments in construction phase will be approximately 4,500 person-years.
  • In addition, investments in equipment purchases included a direct impact on the engineering industry including subcontractors, is approximately 8,000 person-years.
  • The increase of employment during the use of forest and other solid fuels is about 4,000 person-years.
  • The number of created permanent jobs, into the companies and investing institutions is around 1500-2000 person-years.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

Social partners have consultation system which is working on a structural, permanent basis. The consultation is normally taking place at the national level, between the government and labour market organisations, In the electricity sector, the employer organisation (the Finnish Energy Industries, ET) and trade unions have a joint interest and close cooperation.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources
  2. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources
  3. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)

Electricity is produced in Finland in a versatile way with various different energy sources and production methods. In 2010, the most important energy sources for electricity generation are nuclear power (28, 4%), coal (18, 5%), hydropower (16, 6%), natural gas (14, 2%), biomass (13, 8%), and peat (9, 8%). The share of wind power (0, 4%) is small, but growing.

Biomass accounts for a larger share of energy consumption in Finland than in any other industrialised country. Wood and wood-based residuals from Finland’s large-scale pulp and paper industry, including black liquor derived from pulp-making processes, account for as much as 97.5% of the bioenergy produced in Finland. Solid recovered fuels, biogas, energy crops like reed canary grass and organic liquid fuels make up the remaining 2.5 %.

In Finland, there are approx. 120 companies producing electricity and about 400 power plants, more than half of which are hydroelectric power plants. Finland’s electricity generation is fairly distributed compared with many other European countries. Our diverse and distributed structure of electricity generation increases the security of electricity supply.

Almost one-third of electricity is produced in combined heat and power generation, in which case the energy content of the fuel is utilised to its full potential. Up to 90% of the energy of the fuel can be converted into electricity and heat.

Finland is part of the joint Nordic electricity market in which free competition prevails.

Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

PVO Pohjolan Voima

60

2011

Private

Fortum Oyj

Total number of employees is 11000 (about 4500 in Russia)

2011

Private

Helsingin Energia

1230

2010

Private/

NUCLEAR

Fortum Oyj

Total number of employees is 11000 (about 4500 in Russia)

2011

Private

Fennovoima

40

2011

Private

TVO Teollisuuden voima Oyj

797

2011

Private

HYDRO

Fortum Oyj

Total number of employees is 11000 (about 4500 in Russia)

2011

Private

PVO Pohjolan Voima

65

2011

Private

Kemijoki Oy

267

2010

Private

WIND

PVO Pohjolan Voima/ PVO-Innopower

1-2

2011

Private

Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy

5

2011

Private

Lumituuli Oy

1-2

2011

Private

BIOMASS

In Finland, the bulk of biomass energy is linked directly to the pulp manufacturing process, resulting that the largest forestry firms are producing the most energy/electricity from biomass.

Stora Enso Oyj

1500 in biomass power plants, and in material procurement and in transportation there are around 3000 employees

 

Private

UPM-Kymmene Oyj

1000 in biomass power plants, and in material procurement and in transportation there are around 450 employees

 

Private

PVO Pohjolan Voima

70

 

Private

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

As far, electricity production of photo-voltaic is only a micro-production, for household usage.

     
       
       

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current oganisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

The power system in Finland consists of power plants, the main grid, regional networks, distribution networks, and consumers of electricity. The Finnish system is a part of the Nordic power system together with the systems in Sweden, Norway and Eastern Denmark. Moreover, there is a direct current connection from Russia and Estonia to Finland, enabling connection between these systems which apply different principles. Correspondingly, the Nordic power system has been connected to the system in Continental Europe through direct current connections.

Fingrid is responsible for the operational planning and supervision of the main grid and for grid maintenance and grid development. The main grid serves power producers and consumers, enabling electricity trade between these throughout Finland and also across Finnish borders. Most of the power consumed in Finland is transmitted through the main grid.

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

Fortum Sähkönsiirto

900

2011

Private

Vattenfall

530

2009

Private

Helsingin Energia Oy/

Helen Sähköverkko Oy

108

2010

Private/Public

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

There have not been any kinds of significant developments or changes in the number of employees in the sector, nor the status of the employees. Anyway, the number of employees in the sector has slightly increased from 2008 to 2010 from 9,900 to 10,500. Representatives of ET and trade unions in the sector stated that the electricity sector has been one of the most stabile sectors in Finland during the current economic crisis.

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

3.1 Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

The Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET) is an industrial policy and labour market policy association representing the electricity and district heating industry in Finland. ET is a member of the Confederation of Finnish Industry (Elinkeinoelämän keskusliitto, EK). It represents companies that produce, acquire, transmit and sell electricity, district heat and district cooling and offer related services. The member companies of Finnish Energy Industries (ET) have approx. 15,000 employees, about 12,000 of whom participate in ET’s labour market activities. The remaining 3,000 are mainly employed by municipal energy utilities.

Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

FOSSIL FUELS

PVO Pohjolan Voima

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Workers’ collective agreement has been signed between ET and the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto). Collective agreement for white-collar employees is between ET and the Trade Union Pro (Ammattiliitto Pro) and the Finnish Engineers’ Association (Suomen Konepäällystöliitto, SKL). The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (Jyty) and the Technics and Health (KTN) are applying the collective agreement. The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (Ylemmät Toimihenkilöt, YTN) and ET have a collective agreement for upper clericals.

Fortum Oyj

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Helsingin Energia

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

NUCLEAR

Fortum Oyj

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Workers’ collective agreement has been signed between ET and the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto). Collective agreement for white-collar employees is between ET and the Trade Union Pro (Ammattiliitto Pro) and the Finnish Engineers’ Association (Suomen Konepäällystöliitto, SKL). The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (Jyty) and the Technics and Health (KTN) are applying the collective agreement. The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (Ylemmät Toimihenkilöt, YTN) and ET have a collective agreement for upper clericals.

Fennovoima

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

TVO Teollisuuden voima Oyj

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

HYDRO

Fortum Oyj

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Workers’ collective agreement has been signed between ET and the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto). Collective agreement for white-collar employees is between ET and the Trade Union Pro (Ammattiliitto Pro) and the Finnish Engineers’ Association (Suomen Konepäällystöliitto, SKL). The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (Jyty) and the Technics and Health (KTN) are applying the collective agreement. The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (Ylemmät Toimihenkilöt, YTN) and ET have a collective agreement for upper clericals.

PVO Pohjolan Voima

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Kemijoki Oy

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

WIND

PVO Pohjolan Voima/ PVO-Innopower

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

In wind, there are only few employees, but trade union that is representing them is and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto)

Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Lumituuli Oy

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

BIOMASS

Stora Enso Oyj

The Finnish Forest Industries (Metsäteollisuus ry)

In biomass based electricity production, trade unions representing employes are the same than aforesaid unions, but furthermore there is an employer organisation, the Finnish Forest Industries (Metsäteollisuus ry)

UPM-Kymmene Oyj

The Finnish Forest Industries (Metsäteollisuus ry)

PVO Pohjolan Voima

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

As far, electricity production of photo-voltaic is only a micro-production, for household usage.

   
And in the distributing companies

Distribution GRID

companies

Fortum Sähkönsiirto

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

 

Vattenfall

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

Helsingin Energia Oy

Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET)

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

The general union density in the sector is very high both amongst workers and officers. The current economic crisis has not had any impact on trade union representation. Same unions are the key players in the sector than those before the crisis.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

Not in last five years, but in 2005 when ET’s actual operations began on 1 January 2005 the labour market activities transferred to the new organisation from the Finnish Energy Industries Federation (Finergy) and the Finnish Association of Energy Employers (Enerta). Previously, labour market activities in the energy sector were managed, e.g. in the Finnish Association of Power Plant Employers (VTL) and the Finnish Association of Electrical and Telecommunications Employers (STAT).

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

RES industries are covered by established actors both in the employers’ side and in the trade union side.

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

As far, the new emerging parts of the sector have organised into the existing (established) trade unions and into the Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET) which is the only employer organisation in the energy/electricity sector.

In Finland, the bulk of biomass energy is linked directly to the pulp manufacturing process, resulting that the largest forestry firms are producing the most energy/electricity from biomass. The most important companies are great pulp and paper machinery companies that are organised into the Finnish Forest Industries (Metsäteollisuus ry).

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

  • At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?
  • Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

The Finnish Energy Industries (Energiaeollisuus ry, ET) has conducted three collective agreements in the electricity (energy) sector. Workers’ collective agreement has been signed between ET and the Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto). Collective agreement for white-collar employees is between ET and the Trade Union Pro (Ammattiliitto Pro) and the Finnish Engineers’ Association (Suomen Konepäällystöliitto, SKL). The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (Jyty) and the Technics and Health (KTN) are applying the collective agreement. The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (Ylemmät Toimihenkilöt, YTN) and ET have a collective agreement for upper clericals.

In autumn 2011, ET and aforesaid trade unions are having negotiations for new collective agreements on the basis of a tripartite framework of a new centralised national agreement on wages and conditions has been worked out between the social partners (at national/confederation level). The agreement continues 25 months offering a pay increase of 4.3 % during the agreement period such that the first 2.4% increase would cover the first 13 months and a second 1.9% the remaining period. Furthermore, a lump sum payment of €150 at the beginning of 2012 is also included in the agreement. It is estimated that the agreement will raise the annual cost burden by 2.05%.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

  • Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

Workers’ collective agreement:

Each employee’s wages shall be composed of a) wages according to job requirement category (see the eight requirement categories), b) a personal pay component based on competence and performance, and c) any additional allowances that are applicable. The majority of the work in the industry belongs to requirement categories 4–6, where the following minimum wages apply:

  • - Level 4:

2,109 euros per month

(12.13 euros per hour)

  • - Level 5:

2,258 euros per month

(12.98 euros per hour)

  • - Level 6:

2,413 euros per month

(13.87 euros per hour)

  • In addition, the following shall be paid:

- A skill bonus of at least 3% for employees whose employment has continued for over five years

- Any applicable allowances, including allowance for unusually dirty work, evening and night shift bonuses, mast work bonus, and foreman’s allowance

Of the work performed in the industry, the greatest percentage (33.5%) belongs to qualification category 6, for which the average income is €2,834 per month (16.67 euros an hour).

Regulations concerning wage categories, the personal wage component, and the allowances can be found in Section V of the collective labour agreement.

Regular working hours shall not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours per week. The work week begins on Monday. Work performed in addition to the regular working hours specified above is overtime. If daily working hours exceed eight hours, the first two overtime hours will be subject to compensation with 50% additional pay and subsequent overtime hours with 100% additional pay. All employees shall be given a continuous daily rest period of 11 hours. All employees shall be provided with continuous weekly free time of 35 hours (at minimum). If an employee performs work during the weekly free time, the work shall be compensated for with 100% additional pay or through granting of a corresponding amount of paid leave. For work performed on a Sunday, 100% additional pay shall be paid.

4.3. Cooperation between the social partners and government

  • Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.
  • Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?
  • Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?
  • Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

In December 2009, a total number of 18 labour market organisations and interest associations released a joint appeal that they gave to Prime Minister and to Minister of Employment and the Economy (Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö, TEM).

According to a joint statement, competitive price and good access of energy is a condition to the prosperity of Finnish society. Social partners emphasized that for maintaining economic growth and employment a diverse energy production model should be continued, and Finland should strive for greater energy self-sufficiency. Affordable energy increases purchasing power, lower housing costs, speed up economic development and promote social equality.

In a joint statement, social partners stated that the overcoming of the challenges of energy and climate changes requires the notable increase of renewable energy sources and increased use of nuclear power.

The undersigned labour market organisations and interest associations are representing a wide range of Finnish industries and labour, agriculture and forestry, as well as housing. Organisations have more than 125 000 member companies, employing a total of number of 1.5 million people. In addition, the signatories of the statement were representing more than 150 000 agriculturists in agriculture and forestry, and over 20,000 real estate companies, which account for nearly 2 million people, as well as approximately 70,000 house owners.

The undersigned labour market organisations and interest associations were:

  • The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (Suomen Ammattiliittojen Keskusjärjestö, SAK)
  • The Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto, Sähköliitto)
  • The Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals in Finland (Akateemisten
  • Keskusjärjestö, AKAVA)
  • The Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (Toimihenkilökeskusjärjestö, STTK)
  • The Confederation of Finnish Industry (Elinkeinoelämän keskusliitto, EK)
  • The Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation (Elintarviketeollisuusliitto, ETL)
  • The Finnish Energy Industries (Energiateollisuus, ET)
  • The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland (Kemianteollisuus)
  • The Finnish Hotel and Restaurant Association (Matkailu- ja ravintolapalvelut MaRa ry, MaRa)
  • The Finnish Forest Industries Federation (Metsäteollisuus)
  • The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries (Rakennusteollisuus, RT)
  • The Federation of Finnish Commerce (Suomen Kaupan Liitto)
  • The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries (Teknologiateollisuus)The Federation of Finnish Enterprises (Suomen Yrittäjät)
  • The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (Maa- ja metsätaloustuottajain Keskusliitto MTK)
  • The Finland Central Chamber of Commerce (Keskuskauppakamari)
  • The Finnish Real Estate Federation (FREF, Suomen Kiinteistöliitto)
  • The Finnish House Owners’ Association (Suomen Omakotiliitto)

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

Despite the economic crisis, the number of employees in the energy sector has been remained stable, or slightly increased. Surveys conducted by Energiateollisuus ry, at the end of 2009 around 8% of responding companies had has or were going to have the co-operation negotiations concerning staff reduction. According to the survey, about 80% of companies felt that the current economic situation lead to a permanent or temporary layoffs. In 2009, the number of trainees in the electricity sector recruited was less than in 2008. In 2010, the situation seems to have already stabilized, and the number of trainees and summer employees in the electricity sector was at the same level than before the recession.

According to the social partners in the sector, there have been some lay-offs in the sector, particularly in 2009, but only few collective dismissals. The lay-offs have been in the construction of grid. The terms and conditions of employment in the sector have remained very stable.

5. Commentary

The Finnish electricity sector is the sector where the interest of the employer side and trade union side is obviously common. Social partners have strongly stated that for maintaining economic growth and employment a diverse energy production model should be continued including strong investment in renewable energy sources. In Finland, both employer side and trade union side is supporting the increased use of nuclear power and increased use of nuclear power. Both renewable energy sources and nuclear power have been seen a mean for greater energy self-sufficiency.

Pertti Jokivuori, University of Jyväskylä

Persons contacted:

  • Kari Laaksonen, Finnish Energy Industries (Energiateollisuus, ET)
  • Timo Ritonummi, Ministry of Employment and the Economy (Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö, TEM)
  • Petteri Kuuva, Ministry of Employment and the Economy (Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö, TEM)
  • Marja Lounasmaa, Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (Jyty)
  • Olli Numinen, Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (Ylemmät Toimihenkilöt, YTN)
  • Leif Wickström, Finnish Engineers’ Association (Suomen Konepäällystöliitto, SKL)
  • Jukka Kauppala, the Technics and Health (KTN)
  • Petteri Hyttinen, Trade Union Pro (Ammattiliitto Pro)
  • Reijo Karisaari, Trade Union for Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL)
  • Sirkka Inkinen, PVO Pohjolan Voima
  • Helena Aatinen, Vice President, Communications, Fortum Oyj
  • Jukka Kilpeläinen, Stora Enso Oyj
  • Esa Retva & Anja Silvennoinen, UPM-Kymmnen Oyj