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Up to 1,500 metal and industrial workers to strike in Tampere region

Some 1,500 metal and industrial workers in the Tampere area will down tools and walk off the job Thursday to protest government measures that they say are eroding workers’ standing of living. The industrial action will affect up to 16 companies.

Mies hitsaa putkea.
Up to 1,500 metal and industrial workers in the Tampere region will walk off the job Thursday evening. Image: Marko Lysinen / Yle

Five regional union chapters representing up to 1,500 metal and industrial workers will stage a 24-hour work stoppage starting from 10.00pm Thursday.

The metal workers' and industrial trade unions say the protest action does not target employers or labour market groups, but focuses on government policies that they say are lowering workers' standard of living.

"We are talking about the government’s policies of reducing workers' standard of living while stock-listed companies celebrate ongoing dividend payouts. For example the so-called 'activation model' for unemployment benefits is a smokescreen whose ultimate purpose is to further cut spending on unemployment benefits. We want to send a message to the government that this is just not on," said Antti Salonen, chair of the 7th chapter of the metal workers' union in Tampere.

The union charged that the government seems to have adopted the ideological goal of undermining the status of workers and the trade union movement.

The work stoppage will end at 10.00pm Friday and will affect up to 16 companies in the Tampere region including Kalmar, Sandvik, Seppälä, Pilkington, Metso Minerals and Valmet Technologies, among others.

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