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Three-day strike to affect public transport, schools, daycare in Turku

 Up to 1,500 employees will go on strike on Wednesday over a new contract offering lower pay and shorter annual leave.

Föli-bussit ajavat Linnakatua pitkin Turussa.
The strike will affect bus services on several routes. Image: Kalle Mäkelä / Yle

Schools, daycare centres, public transport and port activities in Turku will be widely disrupted by a three-day strike by trade unions against the City of Turku and its public bodies, starting Wednesday.

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and The Federation of Public and Private Sector Employees (JYTY) are launching the industrial action to protest a September decision by city-owned service company Arkea to switch staff to a cheaper collective agreement.

The change would lower workers' wages and reduce annual leave entitlements.

No risk to life, safety or property

JHL regional head Maaret Laakso has estimated that up to 1,500 employees will participate in the industrial action.

In a release issued on Tuesday, the unions stated that the strike applies to members employed by the City of Turku and the following companies: Turku Energia, infrastructure firm Kuntec, maintenance firms Kaarea and Kaarea Kunnossapito, Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto waste management company, Port of Turku, public transportation provider Turku Region Traffic, Turku Region Water and waste water processing company Turun Seudun Puhdistamo.

The strike will begin on Wednesday 27 November and will end on Friday 29 November. Earlier this month, the unions had conducted a previous work stoppage on a smaller scale.

The strike won’t endanger life, safety or property, union officials stated in the release.

"For example, food security for the elderly is guaranteed like it was in the previous strike," Laakso said.

However, meals will not be delivered to schools and daycare centres. JHL estimates that a few daycare centres may remain shut during the strike.

Bus services to take a hit

Public transport director Sirpa Korte said the strike will affect major bus lines in the city.

Turku Region Traffic website stated that Lines 1, 3, 30, 36, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 55A, 56 and 58 will not run from the 27-29 November. Other Turku region traffic routes will be served normally.

In addition, port operations, libraries and swimming pools will also be affected.

Officials at Turku Energia said that the strike will not affect its customers — electricity and heat distribution will function normally —unless failures occur.

Turku Energia HR manager Tiina Aho said 50 employees, mainly mechanics, will participate in the strike and that efforts are being made to organise substitutes in the event of power failures or outages. However, Aho said that personnel from temp agencies will not be used.

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