Pori port in Finland

Finland´s port operations will be affected by the political strike which is scheduled to take place on Monday 11 March that is currently intended to continue for two weeks.

The measures will target export and import operations at ports and the railway system. Major industrial plants and distribution terminals will also be affected. About 7,000 employees will be taking strike action in key industries.

“The unions are prepared to suspend their preparations and strike action if the Government indicates that it is willing to mitigate and balance its proposed cuts,” says the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK).

At a press conference last week, SAK explained its efforts to establish negotiating channels with the Finnish Government in recent weeks.

These efforts have not been successful, and the Government has announced the intention to continue implementing its plans in all respects.

SAK President Jarkko Eloranta explains that “We have been willing to negotiate on major issues of principle that are important to us, in line with the Government’s objectives. Even such significant compromises have not evoked a response from them.”

The individual unions will announce the targets of this strike action in accordance with their own notification obligations.

“We are keen to ensure that these measures pose no danger to public health or safety. I have been in touch with the National Emergency Supply Agency proposing a low threshold for contact in the event of any problems. This also applies to other public authorities.”

The participating SAK affiliates are the Industrial Union, the Public and Welfare Sectors Trade Union JHL, the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT, the Electrical Workers’ Union, the Finnish Construction Trade Union, and Service Union United PAM. Other SAK trade unions will also demonstrate their solidarity by contributing financially.

SAK commissioned Verian to conduct an SMS survey of a random sample of SAK-affiliated trade union members a few weeks ago. This survey asked respondents whether they were in favour of taking strike action against cuts in the world of work. Some 81 per cent of the 7,598 respondents expressed support for such strikes. A further 15 per cent opposed strike action, and 4 per cent were undecided.

“We are doing this to defend the rights and interests of all employees, and we are also seeking to ensure fair and equitable treatment for future generations of employees in Finland. This treatment should enable employees to influence their own terms and conditions of employment through collective bargaining and agreement,” SAK President Jarkko Eloranta said.

Source: The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK)