Labor market lobbying is international. A growing proportion of Finnish employment-related legislation is being made by the European Union. Successful lobbying requires regular contacts with European Parliament members and direct influence within the European Commission.
The European Union’s labor law directives, among other things, deal with working time, safe working conditions, atypical employment relationships, and the right to parental leave. Directives relating to the information, consultation, and participation of workers are of great importance, especially in multinational companies and companies that are going through changes that cross borders. Such bodies include, for example, European Works Councils (EWCs). The concept of corporate responsibility also originates in Europe, which has a significant impact on companies operating in Finland and, consequently, on employees.
Finland is a small country at the European level, so close co-operation with other Nordic countries is important in terms of opportunities for influence. The most important forum for Nordic influence is Nordic-IN, where many members of the Union of Professional Engineers are involved. Nordic-IN working groups deal with collective agreements, labor market situations in Nordic countries, information, consultation, and participation rights for workers, and equality issues.
The Union of Professional Engineers is also, through the Finnish engineering organization Engineers Finland, involved in Nordic co-operation that is organized by the Association of Nordic Engineers (ANE). Common lobbying objectives will be compiled by ANE. The Union of Professional Engineers pursues the objectives prepared by Nordic co-operation in several international forums.
For example through Nording, which combines Nordic and Baltic unions of professional engineers, the terms for guest membership have been agreed between the Nordic associations. A member moving to work in another Nordic country can join as a guest member of the local union of professional engineers free of charge.
In addition to Nordic co-operation forums, the Union of Professional Engineers co-operates and influences in IndustriAll Europe (Europe-wide), IndustriAll Global (international), and in Uni Europa, which covers the service sector in Europe.