Unions wonder why Sanoma declines to negotiate EWC
Unions wonder why Sanoma declines to negotiate and agree on an EWC
Helsinki (28.11.2008 - Juhani Artto) Finnish unions that represent employees working for the Finnish-based media company, Sanoma (formerly SanomaWSOY) are perplexed by the company's negative attitude towards signing up to a European Works Council (EWC). Sanoma is the largest media company in Finland and one of the biggest magazine publishers in Europe.
It operates in 20 countries in Europe and has over 20 000 employees, the majority of whom work outside Finland. Clearly, then, Sanoma is one of about 1 500 companies that should - if the EWC directive were to be respected and implemented properly – agree, in tandem with its personnel, on the setting up of an EWC. The Finnish unions have appealed to the company on numerous occasions to open talks with a view to establishing a works council but with no success.
Recently the Media Union, the Union of Salaried Employees (TU), the Service Union United (PAM) and the Union of Journalists in Finland issued a statement on Sanoma's reluctance to negotiate and agree on an EWC.
In the statement, Pertti Raitoharju, the President of the Media Union, says that international trade union federations are prepared to take the matter up with relevant EU bodies if Sanoma does not adopt a more positive approach to cooperating on the EWC question.
Antti Rinne, the President of the TU, makes the obvious point that most consumers of Sanoma's products are wage and salary earners who are interested in knowing how the company treats and values its personnel.
Over 800 companies-with management and personnel cooperation-have agreed on how to implement the EWC directive. The four Finnish unions wish to point out that the experiences of EWCs in the forest industry-for example- have been very positive. The goal of EWCs is to promote dialogue and interaction between corporate management and employees.
Trade Union News from Finland