Jan started his working life as education secretary for the Finnish secondary students’ association in 1967. From 1969 to 1986 he was employed by the trade union movement and held many different positions in the commercial workers' union. In 1986 Jan started to work in Geneva for FIET, the largest founding organisation of UNI Global Union, where he had been member of the board. Having worked much also with developing countries and European countries in transition, he retired from my position as Head of UNI Commerce Global Union at the end of 2009. Jan was also responsible for the European trade union work in commerce, labour relations with large retail multinationals, and European Union social dialogue in the sector.
Since then Jan has worked with government agencies, companies, trade unions, and others to promote social responsibility, dialogue and partnership. He has retained his longstanding membership on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board (now through the Founders Committee) of Social Accountability International SA. Jan is a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Social Compliance Programme GSCP since the initiative was launched and has played an active role in drafting the Reference Code and many of the related documents in the GSCP toolbox. In 2013-14 he wrote a detailed study on the proposed Fairtrade textile standard for the German development ministry BMZ. In 2015 Jan was invited by the Global Organic Textile Standard GOTS to advise them on social and labour issues as a member of their Technical Committee. He shares his time between Helsinki, Finland and Founex, Switzerland.