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Transport Workers’ Union Strike impact in Finnish ports



Workers at major ports in Finland went on strike last Tuesday after negotiations with truck drivers broke down, causing a total shutdown of ports in Finland, which is expected to cripple foreign trade and further strain the economy already affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.


Finnish dockworkers have walked away from their jobs after collective bargaining with their employers failed, threatening to halt almost all of Finland's foreign trade. "The strike will go on indefinitely until an agreement is reached," said Juha Anttila, who is in charge of the stevedoring industry at the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT). More than 95 percent of Finland's longshoremen belong to the union.


In addition, hours before the dockworkers began their strike, truck drivers, who transport goods and petroleum products, began a strike that will last until Feb. 21. The ports most affected by the strike are Helsinki, Hamina, Kokkola, Oulu, Rauma, Hanko, Naantali, Pori, Turku and U Kopunki usikaupunki), etc.


According to the AKT trade union, contract negotiations focused on wages and some issues related to working conditions. Finnish stevedores are demanding a pay rise, citing rising living costs and inflation. In December, Finland's inflation rate was 9.1 percent. The Finnish Port Operators Association reported that it expected "significant losses" from the strike. The strike affects about 9,000 workers and has been slammed by trade associations.


Finnish transport workers' union AKT has announced a strike in the transport sector from February 15 to 21, according to a notice from Posti, the Finnish postal and logistics company. In addition, the Postal and Logistics Union (PAU) has announced that it will support the AKT strike and take strike action over the loading and unloading of trucks and trailers from February 16 to February 21.


Posti said the strike would have an impact on its transport and terminal operations as well as domestic and international deliveries. Delays of parcels, letters and magazines, as well as international deliveries to and from Finland, are expected to range from a few days to more than a week. The same estimate applies to freight. If the goods cannot be delivered due to a strike, they will be properly disposed of and stored. Health and safety-related deliveries have been excluded from strikes and support measures, such as those related to health care (blood and laboratory deliveries) and meals on wheels (schools, kindergartens, institutions and meals on wheels for the elderly).


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