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Bank workers could strike again this week

National Conciliator Minna Helle is trying to break a deadlock in negotiations between bank employers and workers before a planned strike this week.

Valtakunnansovittelija Minna Helle istui pöydän päässä rahoitusalan työriidan sovittelussa sovittelijan toimistolla Helsingissä tiistaina 2. tammikuuta.
National Conciliator Minna Helle, at the top of the table, heads negotiations in the banking dispute on Tuesday. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Another round of a bank workers’ strike could take place this Thursday and Friday unless headway is made in negotiations over the terms of weekend work.

National Conciliator Minna Helle said that negotiations, which have been in a stalemate since before Christmas, resumed on Tuesday.

The key sticking point revolves around the terms and conditions for weekend work. The unions representing the workers want banks to approve the terms and conditions for weekend duty in local negotiations, workplace-by-workplace. Employers, on the other hand, want the right to demand that personnel work on weekends.

The positions on the issue remain far apart, Helle said on Tuesday.

“We’ll roll up our sleeves and hope that the dispute can be resolved as soon as possible,” she said.

The employee union said a bank workers’ strike will go into effect on Thursday at 6am and continue until Friday evening unless an agreement is reached before then.

Bank workers also staged a strike last Thursday and Friday, with most branches remaining shut during those days.

In support of the bank employees, the information and communications technology sector will organise solidarity action on Thursday and Friday. That would mean that no banking IT problems would be corrected during the strike.

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