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SAK demonstration An estimated 13 000 protestors took part in a mass demonstration protesting against planned Government cuts in employee rights and social welfare on February 1 in Helsinki. Photo: Ilona Savitie och Sami Mäkinen.

Finnish Trade Unions Decide to Extend Strikes for Another Week

March 28, 2024 - The Executive Board of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) announced its decision to continue an ongoing national program of political strikes for a further week. The Executive Board will meet again to review the situation and any further continuation of industrial action after Easter.

"We have sought a fair and moderate approach from the Government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, but the Government has turned a deaf ear to employee organisations and is still seeking to implement several industrial policy goals with negative consequences for employees," said Jarkko Eloranta, President of SAK. "Many of these goals will have no impact on employment or on the balance of public finances."

Eloranta emphasized that the unions remain willing to call off the strikes at any time if the Finnish Government shows some appreciation for the concerns of employees.

The ongoing strikes in the transport and logistic sector have forced some Finnish pulp and paper producers to temporarily halt production at their mills due to the interruption of the rail transportation of wood — the primary raw material in the production of pulp for papermaking.

Major producers such as Metsä Group, UPM and Stora Enso have announced temporary shutdowns at a number of mills throughout Finland.

A total of some 7,000 employees organized 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 have been on strike since March 11.

SOURCE: SAK and industry reports

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