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APN Podcast: Fights for rights across Finland

The show hears how the right-wing government's austerity plans are springing workers and students into action.

The lobby of University of Helsinki's main building filled with protesters and decorated with banners.
Image: Matti Myller / Yle
Yle News

This week we hear how unions, students and foreign workers are responding to the austerity measures planned by PM Petteri Orpo's (NCP) pro-business coalition government.

The industrial action is being driven by Finland's largest trade union confederation SAK's three-week campaign of protests, demonstrations and walkouts.

Rami Lindström, who heads the confederation's labour market affairs, told APN there may be more industrial action on the horizon if the government doesn't scale back planned changes that unions argue erode worker rights.

"If we need more pressure, we will get more cities, companies, people and workers involved," he said.

Listen to the episode via this embedded player, on Yle Areena via Apple or Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

While unions have been organising walkouts, university students have been staging sit-ins on campuses across the country. APN heads to Tampere University to hear why students are staging an occupation in the lobby of the main campus building.

"No tuition fees for anyone, and this includes our international students who are most at risk and vulnerable in the conversation around tuition fees," a student told APN.

As always, the show rounds up the week's news in Finland and hears from listeners. In addition, we explore a campaign to get Finns fit again and guide our visiting German colleague through a Finnish culinary rite of passage.

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This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino, Ronan Browne and Daniel Kähler. The sound engineer was Panu Willman.

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