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Minister postpones airport strike until after winter vacation

Justice and Labour Minister Jari Lindström has intervened to defer imminent strike action by airport ground and handling staff. The strike would most certainly have affected families planning trips abroad, but it has now been postponed by two weeks.

Lentokoneita Helsinki-Vantaan lentokentällä Vantaalla.
Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

A statement issued by state labour mediator Minna Helle Monday indicates that strike action planned by airport ground handling staff has been deferred by Labour and Justice Minister Jari Lindström.

According to Helle’s release, Lindström made the call to put off the strike following advice from the mediator.

Airport ground handling staff are locked in battle with their employer Airpro – a subsidiary of airports operator Finavia – over new contracts.

The unions representing the workers, the service workers’ union Pro and the Aviation Workers Union, want to negotiate a separate employment contract for the employees in a bid to improve their current terms of work. However the employers’ representative, Palto, has so far refused to author a separate contract.

Last week the IAU issued a warning indicating that industrial action would begin on Friday, while a Pro statement warned of strike action due to start on Sunday. The mid-winter skiing holiday is set to begin from next Monday in southern Finland.

"It is good to have more time for a settlement. The differences between both sides in the labour dispute are enormous," Helle said in her statement.

The parties are due to continue negotiations led by the state mediator.

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