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What should a YTK member do when the industry goes on strike?

The strike threats of many industries have increased with the spring collective bargaining. Read here what a YTK member should do when their industry or workplace goes on a strike or lockout.

How will your YTK membership affect you during a strike? 

YTK membership has no effect on you during a strike. 

YTK is an independent unemployment fund that is open to all. By law, the role of unemployment funds is limited to the payment of earnings-related unemployment security and related compensation. Unemployment funds are not parties to industrial action or collective bargaining.

Is an employee obliged to participate in a strike?

Everyone can decide on their own participation. You don't have to take part in a strike, but you can if you choose to. 

If you are a member of a trade union and choose not to participate in the strike, the union can – depending on its rules – decide to end your union membership. Your unemployment fund membership cannot be ended on this basis.

Can I continue my work normally despite the strike?

You can usually continue working as normal. Your employer will inform you, if the strike affects your work.

Your work may also be prevented due to a lockout initiated by the employer. What should I do when a lockout starts? 

Find out from your employer, if the lockout affects your work. Even if you are not directly subject to a lockout, your work may be prevented if, for example, there are not enough labour due to the lockout, and work has to be stopped altogether. 

Can I receive an earnings-related daily allowance for the duration of the industrial action? 

You cannot receive an earnings-related daily allowance if you participate in a strike or the lockout is directed at you.

In addition, you cannot receive an earnings-related daily allowance if you become unemployed indirectly due to a strike or lockout, and the purpose of the industrial action is to bring about changes in the terms and conditions of your employment relationship. For example, if a work site stops due to a strike and your employment relationship complies with the same conditions as those participating in the strike, you will not be eligible for the unemployment benefit.

You can receive an earnings-related daily allowance if your work is prevented due to a strike or lockout, and the industrial action has no impact on the terms of your employment relationship. Your employer may also be obliged to pay you wages for a maximum period of seven days, if the strike prevents you from working, and the strikes do not affect your terms of employment.

In addition, you can receive an earnings-related daily allowance if, for example, your pay is interrupted by the industrial action and you have been completely unemployed before the strike or lockout started, or if you have been laid off before the industrial action begins.

Read more from our information bank.

How do I apply for the earnings-related daily allowance for the duration of the industrial action? 

Register with the TE Office as an unemployed jobseeker immediately. Submit your first application for the earnings-related daily allowance with the unemployment fund two weeks after the start of the strike.

Does YTK pay strike benefits? 

No. YTK is an unemployment fund. The role of unemployment funds do not include the payment of strike benefits. If you are a member of a trade union, ask them about the strike benefits.

What should I do if I feel pressured related to a strike? 

Even though industrial action can heat up emotions, it is worth remembering that everyone has the right to participate or not to participate in a strike. If you are a member of a trade union and choose not to participate in the strike, the union can – depending on its rules – decide to end your union membership. This has no effect on your unemployment fund membership, and your membership cannot be ended based on you participation. 

If you come across inappropriate language or treatment, find out if your employer has an operating model related to such situations. You can also report inappropriate treatment directly to your supervisor and occupational health and safety representative or contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Vocabulary related to strikes

Industrial action is a generic term for a situation in which the parties use means of pressure to achieve the collective agreement they want.

A strike is an industrial action used by employees, in which the employees stop working. Typically, a strike refers specifically to measures organised in accordance with the collective agreements, in which case it is a legal strike.

A lockout is a measure used by employers that allows employers to suspend the payment of wages and prevent employees from getting into work.