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Municipal sector talks end without agreement, more strikes likely

A union president says that more industrial action is possible in August.

Juko President Olli Luukkainen has not ruled out a possible strike in August. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Talks between municipal workers' unions and employer groups aimed at resolving a months-long industrial dispute in the sector have concluded without an agreement being reached.

Nurses' unions rejected a settlement proposal earlier this month, even though other organisations on both sides of the dispute were prepared to accept the terms of the deal.

The president of one of the unions involved, Juko's Olli Luukainen, told Yle that negotiations continued despite the rejection, but no consensus between the parties was found.

"No agreement was reached on this path, or step forward made. Based on the three-year agreement, no common ground was found for the whole period," Luukkainen said.

Stalemate could lead to strikes in August

Luukkainen added that he expects negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute to be postponed until after the summer.

A ban on overtime and shift work is currently in effect in the municipal sector and, Luukkainen noted, more industrial action in the future has not been ruled out.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement of the breakdown in talks, Luukkainen said there was a possibility of strike action in August when schools re-open after the summer holidays.

"All sorts of things have been thought out and prepared for. It can be said that those preparations are going to August. I dare say that no option is ruled out now that we know the situation," Luukkainen said.