Maria Löfgren elected chair of Akava, becomes first woman to lead a trade union confederation | News

The Confederation of Trade Unions in Acava elected a new president after former leader Sture Vidder stepped down to run for Parliament.

Photo: Silja Viitala/Yle

Maria Lofgren She was elected to lead the Akava Federation of Trade Unions, becoming the first woman to head one of the three umbrella organizations of the Finnish labor movement.

“We have to find new keys in this country for the labor market system to work again,” said Lofgren, who stressed the challenges ahead in her victory speech.

She said changes in working methods threatened to overtake unions, and she expressed concern about the future of organized work.

“I worry about welfare at work and the ability of employees to cope,” said Lofgren, adding that welfare at work was a major challenge for labor unions, and for employment policy as a whole.

Stressing the need to take young people into consideration, she also said that cooperation between the different confederations is the key to the future.

Maria Lofgren celebrates announcing her victory in the Akava leadership election on 14.11.2022. Photo: Silja Viitala/Yle

The first woman in this role

Lofgren, who is not politically aligned, received 514 votes at the Akava conference, while her rival Gary Jokinen – Member of the National Coalition and head of the Workers’ Syndicate – got 383 votes.

Having trained as a lawyer, Lofgren became the first woman to head a trade union in Finland.

Löfgren currently heads the negotiating coalition of public sector workers, Juko, he ran for Akava chairman in 2020 but lost to the outgoing leader store feederwho resigned from office and is now running for parliament on the list of the centre-right National Coalition party.

Federer had a difficult relationship with his counterparts in other trade unions.

Löfgren will face new elections in 2024, sooner than during a normal four-year term thanks to Fjäder’s early departure.

Ahead of his re-election in 2020, Fjäder struck a secret deal with Jokinen, the leader of the teachers’ union Ole Lukinen And the Timo Saranpawho leads the Syndicate of Economists.

Olli Lokkinen takes a selfie with Maria Lofgren after her win. Photo: Silja Viitala/Yle

That deal stipulated that he would retire by September 15, 2022 at the latest, if re-elected in 2020. When Helsingin Sanomat reported on the backroom deal, there was criticism within the union over the lack of openness, and the bar suggested that it may have been part of an effort to influence Back selection.

ACFA is a confederation of 36 trade unions representing about 600,000 highly educated workers, including teachers, doctors, and police.

Together with the blue collar federation SAK and the white collar federation STTK, the continental federations form an important part of Finland’s tradition of three-way or three-way wage bargaining together with employers’ organizations and the government.

This system has come under attack in recent years, with many employers’ and employers’ organizations refusing to participate in negotiations of binding sector-wide salary deals.

Trade union membership is high in Finland, with about 59 percent of the Finnish workforce part of one union or another, according to 2021 survey (ceret toysin with phylon).


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