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Trade unions membership continues to slide

12 Mar 2019, 02:28 ( 2 Months ago)

DF Report
DF File Photo.

The employee membership in trade unions continues to fall in the country during the recent period, according to a study conducted by Lasse Ahtiainen at the request of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

In 2017, just over a half of male and two thirds of female employees were trade union members, said an official press release.

Since 2013, the ration of the union membership has fallen by five percentage points. The number of trade union members is smaller in private service sectors than in other sectors.

At the end of 2017, trade union memberships totalled 2,043,000. Of the total, there were 630,000 or 30.8 per cent whose interests were not represented. These include pensioners, students, non-paying members and self-employed persons. The share of pensioners has risen by 1.1 per cent from 2013.

At the end of 2017, there were 1,414,000 members whose interests were represented, and the degree of unionisation calculated accordingly was 59.4 per cent. The degree of unionisation in 2013 was 64.5 per cent, which means it has fallen by 5.1 percentage points.

Women are more unionised than men. The degree of unionisation among female employees was 66.4 per cent in 2017 compared to 52.3 per cent among male employees. Unionisation among men has fallen by 6.1 and among women by 4.1 percentage points from 2013. The degree of unionisation in public services is 72.8 per cent, in the industry sector 71.8 per cent, and clearly lower in private services, 47.9 per cent. Since 2013 there has been a 9 per cent decline in the industry sector, 3.5 per cent in public services, and 3.7 per cent in private services.

The study continues the series of studies on the degree of unionisation launched in 1989. Ahtiainen has conducted similar studies in 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2013. This study compares the nature and degree of unionisation in 2017 with those in previous studies.