Another wave of industrial action took place in November and December due to the impasse in collective bargaining in the export sector. These included a three-day strike, which brought together some 92,000 workers and employees in different industries, and a six-day lockout that affected some 4,300 employees at sawmills and plywood factories.  According to the principle of general applicability in force since the 1970s, sectoral collective agreements are generally binding and therefore also apply to employers and unorganized workers in the sector. The so-called procedure for the confirmation of universal collective agreements entered into force in 2001. A special committee of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health confirms the general applicability of the agreements. A sectoral agreement is generally applicable if it can be considered representative of the sector concerned. Representativeness in this respect means that, according to estimates, more than half of the workers in the sector work for employers who are signatories to the agreement. Fixed-term contracts are terminated without notice at the end of the specified period of employment. Employment relationships valid for an indefinite period end either by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee or by unilateral dismissal (notification of dismissal). If the employer terminates the contract, this must be based on important grounds, i.e.
serious infringements on the part of the workers or a change in the circumstances that render the worker incapable of fulfilling his obligations. Financial or production-related reasons are also acceptable. The worker does not need a specific reason to terminate the contract. Both parties must respect the notice period at the end of the contract, the duration of which depends on the duration of the employment. Workers whose contracts have been terminated for financial reasons are also entitled to paid re-employment leave. The views of both parties must be heard when terminating the employment contract and the employer must explain the possible financial reasons for the dismissal. Since the Finnish system of collective bargaining has traditionally been highly centralised, the national level has been the most important in defining the framework for the development of wages and working time. However, the withdrawal of the main employers` organisation at the highest level from negotiations at central level in 2016 is expected to have an impact on the level of negotiations. Details on wages and working time are elaborated in agreements at a lower level. Sectoral agreements are the legally applicable basis for employment contracts (Asplund, 2007).
The dispute in the postal sector intensified with a wave of strikes, but was finally resolved towards the end of 2019. The main element of the dispute was the announcement that the Finnish state-owned company Posti was considering transferring 700 workers working in the postal sorting sector to a new collective agreement with a lower labour cost.  The parties to the dispute – the Finnish Postal and Logistics Union (PAU) and the employers` organisation Palta – had been trying since October with the help of the national conciliator to find a solution to the impasse in collective bargaining. . . .