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Why should you belong to the Union?

There are quite a few good reasons:
The collective agreement is the most important benefit produced by membership of a trade union. The collective agreements settle the wages and pay rises, and the rules covering working hours, overtime and annual holidays. It is over these that the trade union bargains with the employer on your behalf. The agreements may cover either a certain trade union or be income policy settlements (TUPO-agreement) covering the entire workforce. Did you know that workers covered by the generally-binding collective agreements of the unions enjoy wages that on average are five per cent higher than the pay of people left outside the collective agreement?


The Union supervises compliance with the collective agreement. It offers a variety of help with the challenges of working life, ranging from legal assistance to various training courses. Shop stewards act as representatives of the Union on ships and at other places of work, and work-safety delegates supervise the safety at work. The shop stewards and the unions provide help and advice for members; they know the number of days of sickness for which the wages should be paid, and what to do when the employer says your job ends today! If the problem is not resolved by negotiation, the Union will ultimately pursue your case in court. The Seamen’s Union is a member-body of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), which is the biggest central organisation in Finland. Through its member unions the SAK has over one million wage earners as members.Over the years the trade union movement has accomplished quite a range of achievements. Without the trade unions, the Finnish people would not have anywhere near the rights that are regarded nowadays as self-evident. 

A few examples:

  • the five-day working week
  • annual holidays
  • winter holidays
  • wages paid during sickness
  • severance protection
  • overtime compensation
  • holiday bonus
  • sabbatical leave system

The Seamen’s Union also provides affordable holiday localities, holiday support, member discounts (e.g. at the Nordea Bank, Teboil, Turva insurance company), the membership periodical, etc. As a member of the Union, you can take part in electing the shop steward at your workplace.

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