Working life is changing and unions must find new ways to work and offer added value to their members. Last Autumn the Finnish Musicians’ Union opened the G Livelab music club in Helsinki.

"Only one third of our members are covered by collective agreements. Traditional advocacy and collective bargaining are no longer enough to satisfy the needs of our members", explains the Musicians' Union chairman Ahti Vänttinen as to the reasons behind the decision.

The Union also bought a local radio station, Radio Helsinki. The focus of the programme is on musicians and programmes on music. "We want to strengthen the position of Finnish music and those who make it", Ahti Vänttinen says.

Cooperative for media work

The Union of Journalists in Finland has started up a cooperative for journalistic and other kinds of media work.

The cooperative which is called Mediakunta got off the ground in January of this year. All those who are members of the Union of Journalists in Finland can join it. The cooperative is also open to others than just freelance members, like students and those doing single freelance jobs.

Mediakunta members organise their own work. They agree independently their own freelance jobs and fees but Mediakunta sends the invoices to their clients.

The idea behind the cooperative is not only to spare members from entrepreneurial bureaucracy.

"We try to provide work under fair conditions and raise awareness on how a self-employed worker should set a price on his or her work", says Jussi Salokangas, the Union of Journalists lawyer responsible of freelance issues .

Read the whole article on Trade Union News from Finland.

Heikki Jokinen / Freelance journalist