A trade union is an organization within the framework of a trade union movement which seeks to defend and improve workers’ working conditions.

The trade union usually consists of people in the same industry (eg nurses) or industry (eg workers in a glass factory) or persons in the same training (eg engineers). The trade union consists of workers’ associations or trade unions.

Trade unions negotiate collective agreements with the employers’ side.

In Finland, trade unions, such as all associations and individuals, have the right to freedom of association and an established position in most workplaces as well as in institutional decision-making in society. Trade union membership dues are tax deductible and employers organized in employers’ organizations collect them directly from trade union members and account for trade unions.

Trade unions also maintain unemployment censuses for which membership fees are most often charged in connection with dues. Unemployment can also be associated without being a member of a trade union.

The so-called “Loimaa Cashier”, founded by the employers’ associations in the 1990’s, the Unemployment Fund, the JRC (formerly the Unemployment Insurance Fund), has risen to become a competitor of trade unions in the unemployment insurance sector. The current official name to this is: General unemployment fund YTK.

If a worker does not want to join into a trade union but still wishes to have earnings-related unemployment benefit, one can join into YTK and have this benefit. https://en.ytk.fi/.

text sources: Wikipedia, www.ytk.fi

In Finland, trade unions are organized mainly into three central organizations:


  • STTK is widely represented by white-collar workers, civil servants and healthcare staff.



Recommended lecture!: General information about the working life in Finland by the trade union for theatre and media TEME.