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1,000+ Kesko logistics centre workers stage walkout over wage talk delay

The service workers' union president characterised the Commerce Federation's decision to delay the negotiations as an "arrogant avoidance of responsibility."

Over 1,000 workers staged a two hour walkout at a Kesko logistics centre in Vantaa over delays in wage negotiations. Image: Sakari Piippo

More than 1,000 workers walked off the job for two hours at a central logistics centre belonging to retailing giant Kesko in Vantaa on Friday afternoon. 

The walkout was staged by members of the service workers' union PAM, in protest of delayed wage negotiations.

The delay was caused by the Finnish Commerce Federation, which represents employers, not approving wage negotiations with PAM members to begin, until negotiations with the Technology Industries and the Chemical Industry Federation groups were complete.

The Commerce Federation announced on Tuesday that it would not commence the negotiations until January. Meanwhile, PAM said that agreements had been made earlier this year that the wage talks would begin by 15 December.

In a statement, PAM's president, Annika Rönni-Sällinen, characterised the Commerce Federation's decision as an "arrogant avoidance of responsibility".

At the same time, the federation defended its decision, saying that Finland's economy has still not reached to levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis, and that it was important that wages within the service and retail sectors not be raised above the export sector's wages.

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