Starting on Wednesday, a three-day strike, organized by JHL, The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors, will disrupt daycare centers, schools and public transport in the Turku region, southwestern Finland.
Not unlike the recent strike of postal workers and public transport providers in Helsinki, the JHL-organised action comes after service company Arkea decided to switch its staff to a different collective agreement, one that would see workers’ wages and annual leave decrease.
According to JHL’s regional chief Maaret Laakso, up to 1500 employees will participate in the strike. Union officials released a statement, assuring that the strike will not pose a risk to life, safety or property, but will cause a disruption of meal services in daycare centers and affect major bus routes in Turku.
The statement recommended that parents pack their children’s lunches. The daycare centers and schools will try to provide snacks but cannot assure they will be served due to a lack of staff. JHL also estimates some daycare centers will remain closed for the duration of the strike.
JHL’s Maaret Laakso told Finland Today that the objective of the strike is to get the city of Turku to scrap the new collective agreement and reinstate the old one, thus assuring workers’ wages and leave days remain unchanged.
She said she has hope that the strike will be successful.
Tuija Rompasaari-Salmi, CEO of Arkea, did not want to comment on whether the strike was a reasonable measure or on the possible solutions to the crisis. She did, however, say that “when the strike is ongoing, it affects our food catering, cleaning services as well as services related to building maintenance.”
When asked how it will affect these services, she replied that “some of the work will not be done.”
The strike will last until Friday, after which time all affected services will presumably return to their normal routines.