Finland strikes extend, increasing disruption at ports and companies


“We are ready to suspend the strikes at any time if the Government shows some appreciation for the concerns of employees,” Jarkko Eloranta says.

Following almost two weeks of strikes, Finland’s Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) declared an extension of the labour action until 1st April 2024 at 6:00 local time.

Port activities halted entirely on 11th March, encompassing ship loading and unloading as well as container pickup and delivery operations.

Furthermore, air and land logistics will continue to be affected until 1st April.

The extension of these political strikes will undoubtedly have an even greater impact on the operations of both ports and the companies reliant on the flow of goods through them.

The day-to-day action plan announced by unions is available HERE.

“We are disappointed”

Meeting Finnish Minister of Labour Arto Satonen on Wednesday, SAK President Jarkko Eloranta found that the Government remains unwilling to moderate its policy of cuts affecting employees. The Executive Board of SAK then announced that political strikes would continue.

“We are disappointed. We had hoped for a more even-handed approach and some mitigation of hard measures for employees. The government did not compromise and still intends to implement several industrial policy objectives with negative consequences for employees. Many of these will have no impact on employment or on the balance of public finances. They are not motivated by practicality, but are instead purely ideological,” Jarkko Eloranta says.

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SAK has already proposed significant concessions intending to find some kind of compromise in a highly charged situation. Eloranta proposed a guarantee of minimum conditions.

“We recommended that the Government should guarantee minimum working conditions for the next decade. While the Government has insisted that it has no intention of abolishing the minimum security provided by universally binding collective agreements, it negotiated its Programme without studying the precise consequences of implementing local collective bargaining. A pause at this point would provide time to assess the impacts of broader local collective bargaining,” Jarkko Eloranta explains.

The SAK Executive Board decided to continue the ongoing programme of strikes. A total of some 7,000 employees organised in the Industrial Union, the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT, Service Union United PAM, the Finnish Construction Trade Union, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL and the Electrical Workers’ Union are on strike.

“We are ready to suspend the strikes at any time if the Government shows some appreciation for the concerns of employees. The Executive Board of SAK will meet again to assess the ongoing situation and the continuation of industrial action,” Jarkko Eloranta says.

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