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Support strikes to hit planes, ferries and public bus services as wage talks falter

Postal and logistical employees and employer Posti did not reach agreement on contentious wage talks.

Valtakunnansovittelija Vuokko Piekkala kävi kertomassa medialle postilakon neuvottelutilanteesta valtakunnansovittelijan toimistolla Helsingissä sunnuntaina 24. marraskuuta.
National labour conciliator Vuokko Piekkala. Image: Seppo Samuli / Lehtikuva

Representatives of postal and logistical workers and employer Posti failed to reach consensus on new terms and conditions of work, following a protracted negotiating session on Sunday.

Shortly after 6.00pm on Sunday, national labour conciliator Vuokko Piekkala announced that the proposal tabled for negotiating parties to consider by 3.00pm -- and later by 5.30pm -- had been rejected by Medialiitto, the umbrella organisation representing the Posti subsidiary that employs outsourced parcel sorting workers.

The main bone of contention in the talks turned on the fate of 700 parcel sorting employees who had been transferred to a different collective bargaining agreement with poorer wages. According to Piekkala both trade unions representing workers had agreed to the proposal, along with Posti, but Medialiitto rejected it.

Posti had outsourced the workers to Posti Palvelut Oy, whose collective agreement is agreed by Medialiitto on behalf of employers and the Industrial Union which represents workers, and covers newspaper delivery workers among others.

The terms and conditions are regarded as worse by PAU, the postal workers union.

Another proposal aimed at breaking the deadlock over a new collective agreement for 10,000 other postal and logistics workers also failed to go through.

Support strikes to disrupt transportation

The failure to agree a deal means that support strikes due to begin on Monday will go ahead. A planned strike by the Aviation Workers’ Union IAU already caused national flag carrier Finnair to cancel about 24 flights due to take off on Sunday and Monday.

Finnair said that it will likely have to cancel an additional 300 flights affecting 20,000 passengers if no agreement is reached.

Meanwhile the Transport Workers’ Union had also announced a support strike that will keep passenger ferries in harbour and stall more than 1,000 buses used by Helsinki Regional Transport HSL to provide public transportation services.

The Postal and Logistical Workers’ Union PAU originally announced strike action starting from 11 November. It later extended the industrial action until mid-December in the event that no settlement is reached.

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