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The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK has been keeping track of the number of redundancies since 2007 and the figures for the year 2017 were lower than ever. And the latest figures show there has been little change in the course of a year.
Major redundancies took place last year at the IT technology company Nokia, 353 redundancies, Venator chemical industries, 253 redundancies, the restaurant chain Restamax, 200 redundancies, and wholesaler Tuko Logistics, 200 redundancies.
Venator Finland will close a whole titanium dioxide facility in Pori due to a major fire at the factory in January 2017. The factory has been working on a reduced capacity since then and will be closed down completely in 2021. The company claims that rebuilding the factory would be too expensive and production is to be moved elsewhere.
Tuko Logistics is a groceries assortment, purchasing and logistics service provider. It was once a major company but due to the changes in the grocery market it has lost big customers and the owners decided to close down the whole business.
There are signs of recovery in industry though as can be seen in the paper industry. In 2018 there were zero redundancies while in 2017 a total of 43 paper workers lost their job.
Ismo Kokko, Adviser for Collective Bargaining at SAK says that the recent economic growth can now be seen in the labour market, too.
Now the question is how to get this development to continue in the future. Times are good and it would be important right now for companies to invest and assist in developing the skills of their staff, Kokko says.
SAK calls on companies to invest in product development and research above all. "In the best years of economic growth in the last decade investment was more than four per cent [of GNP] and the economy was growing at record speed", Kokko says. Now this share is below three per cent of GNP.
SAK is collecting redundancies data from stock exchange releases and other public sources. The figures do not include the municipal sector.
Heikki Jokinen / Freelancer