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Friday's papers: Strike threat, Finnair's problems and Tappara title

Finnair is not allowed to fly through Russian airspace, and that is a challenge for the company's business model. 

Fanit riemuitsevat suihkulähteessä
Tappara fans took over the central square in Tampere on Thursday after their team won Finland's ice hockey championship. Image: Miikka Varila / Yle
Yle News

Helsingin Sanomat reports that municipal workers in the capital city region are set for strike action next week after a conciliation committee set up to try to bring unions and employers together said on Thursday afternoon that the parties were too far apart and they could not propose a new agreement.

Agreement now seems far away, as employers and unions have very different views on pay claims. .

Unions are asking for a multi-year pay deal including extra raises on top of normal cost-of-living increases. Nurses have asked for 3.6 percent a year extra for five years, while the JHL public sector union wants 4.7 percent.

"It's impossible to propose an agreement," said Elina Pylkkänen, the civil servant chairing the conciliation committee. "Our work continues."

That means some 31,000 workers in Helsinki, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Espoo, including some 11,500 teachers, will go on strike from Tuesday unless the parties involved reach a surprise agreement. Nationwide, the strike involves 81,000 workers in Turku, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Rovaniemi, Oulu and Kuopio, as well as the capital city region.

Daycare services will be severely restricted in the affected towns, and many schools will be closed.

The strike has been postponed once by the Minister for Employment, Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), and cannot be postponed again.

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Finnair impacts

Business paper Kauppalehti takes a look at Finnair, the majority state-owned airline that posted first quarter results this week. The company lost 130 million euros in the first quarter, thanks in large part to the closure of Russian airspace to western airlines.

That destroyed Finnair's strategy to serve as a gateway to Asia, with Helsinki as a hub for onward travel to European destinations.

The company is now looking for workarounds, including a focus on South Asia for long haul routes, but none offer the competitive advantages of a direct route over Siberia to China and Japan.

That is bad news for the company but also for Finland as a whole, says KL. Finland is not centrally located, and the Finnair strategy has meant much better — and cheaper — connections even for those not travelling to Asia.

That could now be coming to an end, and people living in Finland might have to get used to it.

Tappara take gold

All the papers cover ice hockey on Friday, after Tampere club Tappara took the Finnish championship on Thursday with a 1-0 win over Turku's TPS.

That gave them a 4-1 victory in games over their south-western opponents, and sparked wild celebrations in Finland's second-largest city.

Local paper Aamulehti has the pick of the photos from Tampere's central square, with delighted fans diving into the fountain.

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