Merger forms Finland's second-largest union
In November 2000, four Finnish trade unions in the services sector merged to form Service Unions United. With over 200,000 members, it is the country's second-largest union after the Trade Union for the Municipal Sector.
In November 2000, four Finnish service sector trade unions affiliated to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (Suomen Ammattiliittojen Keskusjärjestö, SAK) merged to form Service Unions United (Palvelualojen Ammattiliitto, PAM). The unions involved were the Union for Commercial Employees (Liikealan Ammattiliitto), the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union (Hotelli- ja Ravintolahenkilökunnan Liitto, HRHL), the Caretakers' Union (Kiinteistötyöntekijäin Liitto, KTTL) and the Technical and Special Trades Union (Teknisten ja Erikoisammattien Liitto, Tekeri) This new union has over 200,000 members and is the second-largest union in Finland after the Trade Union for the Municipal Sector (Kunta-alan ammattiliitto, KTV) (FI9812188N).
According to PAM, the birth of the new organisation is an important indication of how the trade union movement has overcome outdated structures, showing that it has matured and is ready for rational reforms. The aim of the new union is to improve the representation of its members. PAM considers that its central role is to influence matters of social significance, and especially those relating to industrial policy. The union believes that a large organisation has a better chances of exerting influence, and that the merger clarifies SAK's organisational structure. PAM sees many challenges ahead: structural change is resulting in the creation of new occupations which cannot find expression in the traditional unions. The goal of the new union is to provide the employees in these occupations with an interesting and "safe" alternative, providing multi-faceted services.