Skip to content
The article is more than 9 years old

Tuesday’s strike: HSL to refund customers, employers warn against absences

Industrial action by 9,000 Helsinki city workers will shut down tram and metro traffic on Tuesday and close many public venues for the day. Helsinki Region Transport HSL has promised to reimburse those of its customers with season tickets, but Finland’s leading employer federation says the strike does not provide a legitimate reason to miss work.

Ruuhka valtatiellä.
Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

The strike is expected to cause chaos among public transport on Tuesday, as the JHL lockout will cause a standstill in metro and tram traffic. This means any replacement bus lines will be full to bursting.

To make matters worse members of the Transport Workers' Union AKT will refuse to drive any replacement buses. Helsinki's taxi driver association director Anssi Roitto has come forward to say that Helsinki's taxi capacity is insufficient to replace the public transport shortage.

HSL will reimburse season ticket holders

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) announced on Monday that it will offer compensation to its season ticket holders for the lost day. HSL will reimburse customers that are unable to use their normal public transport routes due to the labour strike by crediting their travel card with an extra day.

The credit will not appear on the card automatically, however, as customers must apply for it with a special application. The application must be submitted to HSL within two months of the industrial action to be valid.

Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as each ticket owner will be asked to explain exactly how the labour strike prohibited the use of their normal route. Consult the HSL website to find the application form.

Employers not so understanding

The EK employer advocacy group says commuters inconvenienced by the strike can make arrangements with their employer to take a personal day or work from home, but warns that a labour strike does not give employees legal grounds to be absent from the workplace.

Finland’s leading employer advocacy group EK, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, says industrial action that affects the work commute or child care does not constitute a legitimate reason to be away from work. Day care centre closures are also not a legitimate excuse.

“Employees are liable for any work absences in this scenario. All employees are expected to find a way to report to work. If they are unable to do so, they should take a personal day without salary,” says EK’s Director for Labour Law and Industrial Relations Markus Äimälä.

He points out that employee can agree on special arrangements with their employer, if necessary.

“Employees can either take a vacation day, or in some cases, arrange to work remotely from home. This naturally depends on what kind of tasks the employee is charged with,” he says.

HSL's website carries up to date information on the strike.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia