October 17, 2018 / 12:03 PM / a month ago

Finnish government survives confidence vote over labor rights

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s government survived a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday called over its plan to boost employment by weakening workers’ protection against dismissal.

A total of 101 members of parliament voted in favor of the center-right coalition, while 73 were against after the government called the vote to seek support across party lines for the proposals that have angered unions.

“We got clear support for the (government’s) employment policy,” Prime Minister Juha Sipila told reporters at parliament after the vote.

Labor unions said they would continue to protest against the plan however, and at least 10,000 employees in the welfare and public sector are expected to go on a two-day strike next Monday.

While the government has argued the reform is necessary to curb Finland’s rate of unemployment, currently at 6.8 percent, the unions have been particularly angered by a measure that would make it easier for small companies to dismiss workers.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Alison Williams

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