FINLAND - The Finnish government's decision to increase the minimum age for pensions from 63 to 65 without consulting labour organisations first has sparked anger among unions and workers.
The three major union organisations in Finland said they were convening at a national meeting in Helsinki on 14 March along with workers to discuss what action should be taken in opposition to the age change.
Jarmo Pätäri, a lawyer from Akava, the confederation for professional and managerial staff in Finland, said he was one of the people in negotiation with the Finnish government about this decision.
He said: "Unions feel they are being cast out of the negotiation process. It is the first time this has happened since the pension law came into force in 1961"
He added: "I don't know what's going to happen because the government has its own views and the pensions unions are against this."
SAK, the central organisation for Finnish trade unions, is another of the three organisations involved in opposing the decision.
SAK manager for trade and industry policy Janne Matsamaki commented: ""It is unacceptable that the government has not consulted with labour trade unions, as this is traditional practice. It has angered all workers' unions and everyone is saying that we will not accept this."
The president from SAK met with the prime minister yesterday, along with presidents from the two other central organisations, although nothing was achieved. Discussions will resume next week.
"We have demanded that the government must alter this decision. We don't accept that they've changed the law to 65. We are ready to look at other ways of encouraging people to work longer, but this isn't the answer. The workers in our unions are active, and they are against this."
Commenting on the meeting of unions next week, he said there will be action taken, although what form exactly will be decided at the meeting. He added that there may be strikes.
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