PM gambles the Government on Parliament confidence vote

Vote is intended to bring unions into line and stop them using industrial action as a weapon to disrupt the government's plans.

File picture of Finnish Parliament exterior / Credit: News Now Finland

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is set to call a confidence vote in his government in a bid to re-assert the authority of parliament over unions.

The PM has been locked in a series of bruising disputes with unions over controversial plans to make it easier for businesses to fire employees.

Originally, the government wanted to introduce new rules that allowed companies with up to 20 workers to fire them with less red tape.

But last week they were forced to backtrack and say the new rules would only apply to companies with up to 10 workers.

Ministers changed their position after a number of strikes in different sectors brought businesses to a halt and hit the economy. More industrial action is likely in the coming weeks as unions continue their campaign of opposition to the new proposals.

Confidence vote next week

Speaking to journalists on Thursday evening, Sipilä said he would use a special parliamentary procedure which could lead to a confidence vote in the government next Wednesday.

If his government survives the vote over the controversial firing laws, he expects that unions would fall in line with the will of the Finnish parliament.

However, if he loses the vote he would have to resign.

Sipilä’s three party coalition with the National Coalition Party and Blue Reform holds a very slender majority in the 200-seat parliament.