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Construction strike to begin on Thursday after breakdown in talks

Construction workers in Finland are set to strike from Thursday after talks between unions and employers over a new pay deal broke down.

Kerrostalon rakennustyömaa.
Construction could slow as a result of planned strikes by concrete production workers. Image: Kari Kosonen / Yle

Negotiations to resolve a dispute over pay in the construction sector broke down on Wednesday, clearing the way for a strike to begin from Thursday.

If it goes ahead, the strike will affect seven construction firms (Betonimestarit, Betset, Parma, Rajaville, Parmarail, Rudus and Ruskon), in a rolling programme of two-day work stoppages over a four-week period.

Union and employers' representatives will also continue talks on Thursday. The companies affected by the action produce more than half the prefabricated concrete and nearly two thirds of all Finland's ready-mixed concrete.

The construction union says the effects of the strike will be far-reaching, as delayed delivery of concrete causes a chain reaction through the construction industry's schedules. Industrial action will cost the sector some 30 million euros per day, according to the union.

The two sides remain far apart on pay, with employers offering a pay rise of some 3.2 percent with unions demanding 6 percent over two years.

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