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Industrial union joins strike in protest at new unemployment benefit sanctions

The 226,000-strong Industrial union has joined a protest planned for Friday 2 February aimed at the government’s new measures to cut unemployment benefits.

Miehen kädet tekevät hitsaajan töitä
Industrial workers go on strike on 2 February. Image: Dalbir Ram / Yle

The board of the Industrial Union have agreed to join a political strike on Friday 2 February called in protest at the government’s new measures to sanction unemployed benefit claimants who fail to perform 18 hours of paid work over a three-month period, or enter job-related training.

The strike will affect every shift in the affected sectors that is scheduled to start in the 24 hours from 6am on 2 February as unions join together for a protest in Helsinki at the government's so-called 'active model' for reducing unemployment.

The union is excluding workers in the media and printing trades, communications staff and newspaper delivery employees.

“We want to use this rare action to clearly show our feelings about not just the ‘active model’ itself, but also the bourgeois Juha Sipilä government’s ways of working,” said the union’s chair Riku Aalto.

Unions who declare a political strike ensure their members can legally leave work to join a demonstration called for Helsinki on 2 February.

Unions representing workers in the transport, construction and public sectors have already announced they will join the strike. Private sector union PAM has declined to join the protest.

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