Supreme Court 2010:93
This precedent concerned the employees' right to receive bonus despite the fact that the employees were participating in an illegal strike. The Union of Salaried Employees ("Union") had executed a strike at a Stora Enso factory. The strike was later held to be illegal by the Labour Court. Following this decision, the employer later denied its employees, who where at the time members of the Union, salary bonuses that they would have otherwise been granted. The company referred to an amended to a bonus arrangement agreement.
In its evaluation the Supreme Court referred to the European Convention of Human Rights as well as to case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The Supreme Court held that the principle of right to freedom of association included a right to take part in an industrial action executed by an employees' union. Such right had not been restricted in the applicable statutory employment regulation. Additionally, the Finnish Employment Contracts Act included a statutory provision regarding the principle of right to freedom of association.
According to the Supreme Court the contractual clause which aimed at prevention of illegal industrial actions was based on an acceptable commercial objective. However, the Supreme Court held that such clause was in this case de facto exploited to restrict the Union members' right to freedom of association in a way that was considered to be in conflict with the Employment Contracts Act. Therefore the Court held that the clause could not be considered used as grounds for denying the bonuses at issue and consequently the employer was obliged to pay the bonuses to the employees.