Finland’s postal workers call strike in November

Postal workers are dissatisfied with a proposal for new terms and conditions.

This could be a rare sight in November. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

Postal workers’ representatives have announced a possible strike from 11-24 November. According to the PAU union they plan to stop all deliveries, sorting and transport services for the duration of the strike.

PAU says the strike won’t happen if they reach agreement with Posti, the government-owned postal monopoly, on a new deal covering wages, terms and conditions in the sector.

Some 9,000 workers would be affected by the strike if it goes ahead. PAU says it is ready for more strikes if needed, and has asked other unions in the blue-collar SAK confederation for actions supporting the strike.

The unions say that the employer wants to bring in lower-paid labour, lengthen working times and change shift patterns.

“Posti and Palta (the employers’ confederation) are seeking such drastic weakening of terms and conditions that there is not really any other option but to answer with industrial action and try to get a reasonable contract on time,” PAU chair Heidi Nieminen told Yle.

In a statement the company denied it wants to reduce pay for existing employees, and accuses the union of creating fear and uncertainty among the Posti workforce.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue on Tuesday at the national labour conciliator’s office.

Posti hit the headlines earlier in the autumn when the company tried to switch workers from one sectoral agreement to another with worse terms and conditions.

The company was forced to delay the planned shift after a wildcat strike and a public outcry, and then-CEO Heikki Malinen eventually resigned.