While many retirement homes will receive their meals, many schools are advised to pack their lunch with them. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL with about 10,000 members will go on a two-day strike beginning on Monday (October 22-23). The strike is a countermove against the government’s continuing efforts to pass the so-called “lay-off bill,” which would allow companies with a staff of 10 to sack their employees more easily. Members of JHL include workers in cleaning, property maintenance, as well as food, sports and culture services.

Finland Today explains how six major cities are affected by the strike.


In Jyväskylä, central Finland, full meal services (including special diet food) will not be provided to daycare centers and clubs as well as schools and after-school activities. For this reason, guardians are asked to provide their children with a packed lunch that will keep in room temperature or to make other arrangements to ensure nutrition during the day.


Personnel in institutions providing 24-hour care services, such as central hospitals, health center hospitals and sheltered homes, will be allowed to work despite the strike. Home-delivered meals will also be prepared normally.

In addition, there will be no food deliveries to many work centers run by the social and healthcare services.

Also, many sports centers have limited opening hours.

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In Tampere, central Finland, several daycare centers and schools are not affected by the strike. List here.

The city recommends that students in other schools and educational institutions bring their own snacks that can be stored at room temperature. As a supplement to the snacks, berry soup or juice, fruit and bread will be catered.

The strike will not affect catering services at hospitals, retirement homes, housing and home meal services as well as different special groups, such as the disabled. Meals are prepared and delivered to the customers as usual. The service centers for senior citizens will also function as usual.


The southwestern city of Turku is unable to serve meals in daycare centers, comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools and at some vocational institute premises.

The strike will also affect the opening hours of certain sports facilities managed by the city.

According to the city, schools and daycare centers request parents to pack lunches for their children. The food should keep as well as possible at room temperature as refrigerated storage space will not be available. Parents are also requested to consider whether or not it would be possible for them to provide breakfast for their children at home.


In Espoo, capital region, 63 daycare centers or group family daycare centers will receive no meals at all. List here.

 The daycare centers which receive their meals from Folkhälsan get a lunch as well as breakfast and afternoon snacks. The guardians are asked to have their children bring packed lunches with them. (with the exception of the daycare center that gets its meals from Folkhälsan) The lunches cannot be stored in cold and they cannot be warmed up.

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The Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (SuPer) and the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) have also banned shift swaps between October 22 and November 4, 2018. Daycare centers may, therefore, lack personnel. The city may need to limit the opening hours of daycare centers.

According to the city, comprehensive schools as well as upper secondary schools that get their meals from Fazer, Folkhälsan and Sodexo, will get lunch. Currently, it’s unknown whether schools that receive their meals from Palmia will get food at all.

In addition, the schools with light catering will not have any vegetarian or special diets delivered. Even in other schools, there might be problems with special diets. No breakfasts or afternoon snacks can be delivered and snacks are not sold at schools. 


In Vantaa, capital region, guardians are recommended to pack lunches that do not require cold-storage nor heating for their children in early childhood education.

The lunch should be marked with the child’s name. In the case of children with a special diet, the parents are asked to prepare such lunches that will satisfy the child’s nutritional requirements for the entire day-care day.

The good news is that Vantaa is able to provide meal services in a total of 48 daycare centers. List here.

Students of schools and educational institutions are asked to prepare take-away lunches on Monday and Tuesday. In 36 schools, the meals will be served as usual. List here.

Vantaa swimming halls will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. Use of the city’s gyms and indoor ice rinks may be restricted during the strike.

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The services for the elderly and the disabled are able to ensure meals and cleaning services in all the city’s nursing homes and service houses.


In Oulu, northern Ostrobothnia, the swimming halls and several sports centers are closed.

The meal services continue as usual in all daycare centers. However, according to the city, there may be disturbances in the distribution of food as well as in cleaning services. Therefore, the parents are recommended to arrange their children’s’ daycare in other ways, if possible.

Schools in Oulu are enjoying a week of autumn holiday.