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Security guard strike to close rail station buildings, lengthen airport queues

A three-day strike by security guards over pay will see railway station buildings closed and could cause delays at airport security screenings.

Vartija Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasemalla.
Many security guards will not be at work from Wednesday to Friday. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

A strike over pay and conditions in the security guard sector could cause delays and disruption for three days from Wednesday, with railway station buildings closed and airport security overburdened.

Airport operator Finavia has warned that travellers should allow extra time when travelling between Wednesday and Friday, with delays expected at Helsinki Airport’s Terminal 1 in particular.

The strike will mean that premises attached to railway stations will be closed in some cities as a precaution. Passengers will be able to access platforms as normal, however.

State Railway firm VR has said it will try to keep the following station buildings open: Helsinki, Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskylä, Turku, Rovaniemi, Kolari, Kemijärvi, Kuopio, Seinäjoki, Oulu, Tikkurila, Järvenpää, Hyvinkää and Kouvola.

Station premises will open as normal after the strike.

Disabled travellers hit

VR says it cannot meet new requests for assistance from disabled travellers, but will endeavour to honour bookings already made by those requiring help to get on their trains.

The Service Union United PAM, which represents the guards, said in a press release that it had already decided on a new strike to start in November in the pay dispute.

The strike is separate from the ongoing industrial dispute over government attempts to make it easier for small firms to fire workers.

The negotiations, which have been deadlocked since the spring, cover some 8,500 workers who work as guards, security check personnel, bouncers and high-value couriers.

PAM has told members working to guard embassies, or those on call to attend emergencies in lifts, to work as normal. The union also announced a one-day work stoppage for Securitas workers on 6 November, a measure it says is intended to add urgency to conciliation efforts in the pay negotiations.

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