Ms Hanne Aho (41) was elected the new president of the Union of Journalists in Finland in the union council meeting in December. She won the election against the former president Arto Nieminen by 45 votes to 32. Her four-year term as the president started January 1st 2015.
Hanne Aho worked as graphic designer in the weekly Suomen Kuvalehti, and was 2004-2012 the chief shop steward of the publishing concern Otavamedia, one of the largest Magazine publishers in the country with 82 magazines and some 430 staff. She was also the chairperson of the national branch of magazine journalists, the second largest branch of the union.
According to the new president, the most urgent advocacy task is to influence the next government programme after the parliamentary elections in April. “Recently, we have been affected more by the political decisions than by the collective agreements.”
“The VAT for the print press and electronic media as well as the long-term funding for the public broadcaster Yle are the most important issues there. We have to be early and efficient enough for the message to reach the decision makers.”
Also the work to reform the union organisation and modes of working should continue to bring the union more present visible in the everyday work of the members. The rising unemployment is costly for the union as well. We need to stabilize the union finances, and for that some prioritization is needed, says the new president.