Here’s What You Should Know About the Massive Strike That Cripples Finland on Friday

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A massive strike of the Finnish labour unions will among others halt the train traffic on Friday. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A strike of the Finnish labour unions against the governments planned cuts will stop the public transport, shut down schools and day care centres and cancel flights on Friday September 18. Even the police force will join the protest.

Here’s what you should know about the strike.

TRAINS

The trains will stand still between 06:00-18:00. However, according to the current details, trains leaving before 06:00 are going to be driven to their destinations.

The strike concerns the local, long-distance and cargo trains.

The train traffic will likely suffer from glitches and changes until Saturday September 19.

BUSES

The buses will go on strike on September 18 at 03:00 and the strike will continue until Saturday morning 03:00. The strike involves all bus traffic, including the local and long-distance buses.

METRO AND TRAMS

Metros and trams will stand still during the demonstration (11:00-?). Further info updated when available.

TAXIS

Taxis are operating normally, as they have been freed from the political protest.

FLIGHT TRAFFIC

The flight traffic will stop for two hours during 11:00-13:00 because the Finnish Cabin Crew Union SLSY will participate in the strike. Further delays might occur, as the aircraft fuelers of the Transport Workers’ Union AKT are on strike on Friday from 06:00 to 22:00 in the evening.

SCHOOLS

Most schools are likely to be closed as teachers are likely to join the strike for the whole Friday as the Trade Union of Education OAJ is ready to pay the fines of those teachers joining the demonstration. By law, the teachers who are employed by a municipality, are prohibited of joining political demonstrations.

DAY CARE CENTRES

Most of the day care centres are likely to be closed as the kindergarten teachers, being members of the Trade Union of Education, are joining the protest.

STORES

Details are updated when available.

BANKS

Details are updated when available.

POST OFFICES

Details are updated when available.

POLICE SERVICES

Members of the Finnish police forces  are going to join the strike between 10:00-15:00 as members of Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia. The police will uphold the security of the citizens with minimal personnel.

THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE ADMINSTRATION

As the personnel are members of Pardia, the service is provided with minimal manning.

HOSPITALS

Hospitals will remain open. Even though members of The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland Tehy are joining the protest on their free time, the members who are working normally are not demanded to go on strike.

HARBOURS

All harbours join the demonstration from Friday morning 06:00 until Saturday morning 06:00 as demanded by the Transport Workers’ Union AKT. Details of how this will affect the passenger traffic of cruise ferries will be updated when available.

TRAVEL AGENCIES

Travel agency personnel are on strike on Friday.

What is the strike about?

Members of the labour unions SAK, Akava and STTK unions will demonstrate on the square of the Helsinki railway station on Friday September 11, starting at 11:00.

The demonstration is arranged in defence of the labour market organisations’ right to determine collective agreements and in opposition to the government’s unilateral decisions to weaken employees’ terms of employment.

Last Tuesday the government announced changes including forced restrictions to annual holiday entitlement, an unpaid sick leave waiting day, turning weekday holidays into days without a pay and cuts to overtime and Sunday work compensation.

The chairmen of the trade union confederations stress that employees cannot accept the government’s coercive measures. The government is not respecting employees’ and employers’ right to determine labour costs and other terms of employment. It is also threatening to breach the internationally recognised principle that the law primarily protects the weaker party.

“We are coming out in defence of those in a weaker position,” the chairs of the labour unions Lauri Lyly (SAK), Sture Fjäder (Akava) and Antti Palola (STTK), said in a bulletin.

As well as trade union members, anybody who is concerned about the way and means by which the government is making cuts is welcome to join the demonstration.

Members of all the parliamentary groups will also be invited.

In addition to the demonstration, there is a petition available online, where one can send an opinion of the government’s plans directly to prime minister, Juha Sipilä, foreign minister, Timo Soini, and finance minister, Alexander Stubb. The petition can be found here.

Sources: SAK, AKT, Akava, STTK, HSL, The Police, Tehy, OAJ, SLSLY

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