Collective bargaining agreements
SEL makes the collective bargaining agreements with the employer organisation Finnish Food Industries Federation ETL for jobs in the industry. Although agreements are made for five different sectors, industry, milk processing, bakeries, meat processing and brewery industry, SEL always negotiates them as an entity.
The length of a collective bargaining agreement is generally from 2 to 4 years at a time. The central council of the union always takes the decision on adopting the collective bargaining agreement. The agreements are nation wide.
According to Finnish legislation collective bargaining agreements are so to say generally binding should approximately half of those working in the sector be members or a trade union. Thus, the agreements negotiated by SEL concern all the workers in the sector. This applies to all, even if a worker is not a trade union member or if the employer is not a member of the employer organisation.
In practice, the creation of a collective bargaining agreement has required either a strike or at least a threatening with one from SEL.