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Strike threatens rail network shutdown from Monday

If no settlement is reached, the strike starts on Monday and will continue until the union calls it off.

VR:n juna lähdössä Kuopion rautatieasemalta.
This could be a rare sight in Finland from Monday. Image: Matti Myller / Yle
Yle News

Train drivers' union have rejected a pay deal, and plan to start an indefinite strike on Monday if no agreement is reached.

The proposed agreement had been reached by the union's and the employers' negotiators, rather than the National Labour conciliator Anu Sajavaara, but was still rejected by the railway workers' union RAU.

If it happens, the strike is expected to bring rail transport to a halt in Finland, including long-distance, commuter and freight services.

State Railways form VR has said it will replace some long-distance services with buses.

The biggest dispute has been oversplitting the costs of parental leave between employers and employees. RAU has also been asking for changes to the collective agreement to improve workers' wellbeing.

The two sides have been in talks since mid-February, with RAU rejecting two previous settlement proposals.

Employment Minister Tuula Haatainen (SDP) has already postponed the strike once, at the request of the National Labour Conciliator's office.

The conciliator tweeted (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that it would discuss possible solutions with the two parties on Friday morning.

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