The government cannot continue to ignore the problems of the industry

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On 3 March, the LO’s affiliate IF Metall, which organises metal and industrial workers, presented, together with their employers, a framework agreement on temporary layoffs and training.
The agreement allows for reaching local agreements on reduced working hours with subsequently reduced pay. Maximum 20 per cent of the working hours and of the pay can be reduced.

The agreement is temporary and its purpose is to avoid layoffs in the industry. The agreement is not about cutting wages - the salary per hour of work will not be lower than before.

IF Metall has chosen to take this measure in an extremely difficult situation. According to estimates, 25 per cent of its members will be unemployed by June this year. At the same time, the government’s lack of labour market policy as well as cuts in the benefits seriously affect people who lose their jobs. A metal worker out of job receives an unemployment benefit of about 65 per cent of the wage, LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin says.

The government cannot go on turning a blind eye to the problems of the industry. Active measures are needed now. The government should give resources to training measures and finance education for the employees. It is important that the government helps creating conditions for the export industry to survive the crisis, Wanja Lundby-Wedin says.