I was informed today, in the evening of 9 June, that the Industrial Union would be cancelling the strike that had been planned to take place at Grano’s locations. I am delighted that a connection for negotiations has been successfully established and that the Industrial Union decided not to engage in an illegal strike as a pressure tactic. I consider this to be an excellent decision and believe that this is a good starting point for continuing our negotiations.
This is a particularly positive development for both Grano’s employees and our customers, as the timing of the strike was very unfortunate and would have caused major challenges. Both society and companies – including Grano – are currently facing major difficulties following the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Finnish economy entering a severe recession.
Grano has maintained from the start that this rather complex and in no way unambiguous issue concerning the scope of application of different collective agreements and terms and conditions of employment should be resolved through negotiations between unions. This new decision will ensure that we can now carry out negotiations and work to resolve the matter in peace.
We will be continuing the negotiations on Thursday under the direction of the National Conciliator.
Background on the negotiations
Grano is unionised under Service Sector Employers Palta and has for decades applied the generally binding collective agreement for the printing industry (tulostusalan työehtosopimus) negotiated between Palta and PAM to its personnel. In February, Service Union United PAM announced that it would not be establishing a new collective agreement for the printing industry, as a result of which Grano has no longer had a normally applicable collective agreement after 1 March 2020.
Following the abolishment of the collective agreement for the printing industry, Grano nevertheless wanted to ensure the upholding of its employees’ terms and conditions of employment and announced that it would commit to adhering to the terms and conditions for responsible employers in the printing industry prepared by Palta. This ensured that the terms and conditions of employment of Grano employees did not deteriorate in this new situation beyond the employer’s control.
Grano is a multi-industry company, the services of which include comprehensive marketing communications solutions, electronic publications, asset management services, project bank solutions and print services for the construction industry, surfaces, structures and illuminated advertisements for outdoor advertising, in-store marketing and events, translation services, packaging, labels and print products. Grano’s wide range of products and services does not fit under any single standard industrial classification. If one were to define an overarching area of operation under which the majority of our services fall under, it would be marketing services rather than graphic industry services.
Although a connection for negotiations has now been established and discussions will continue in a constructive spirit, Grano and the Industrial Union still hold differing views on which terms and conditions Grano should comply with in its current situation. Grano is a multi-industry company, and the company’s blue-collar positions do not all fall under the scope of application of the collective agreement concerning workers in the media and printing industry (media- ja painoalan työehtosopimus)
The aim is to now reach common ground concerning the scope of application of the collective agreement through negotiations. The unclear situation is currently being looked into by employer and employee unions under the direction of the National Conciliator and within the company in the spirit of open, constructive and community-driven discussion.