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Thursday’s papers: Postal strike pressure intensifies, Slush kicks off and drug cop’s house for sale

Postal workers plan to demonstrate outside Parliament on Thursday with no sign of an end to the dispute in sight.

Postilaatikkoja Pääpostin edustalla Helsingissä 18. marraskuuta
Customers can expect delays of more than a week for delivery of letters as the industrial dispute continues. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Tabloid Iltalehti reports from the front lines of the postal strike, where the pressure to reach a settlement is increasing with each passing day.

IL writes that the postal workers' industrial action -- which began on November 11 and is now in its second week -- will extend to sales and clerical duties next Monday and continue until December 8, unless an agreement is reached before then. Currently Posti customers can expect the delivery of letters to be delayed by more than a week, and parcels by a few days.

According to Iltalehti, the delivery of parcels is proving to be particularly problematic for Posti as the Christmas season approaches. Many businesses have already switched to Posti's competitors due to the strike, and not all may return to the national mail carrier after the dispute is settled.

The tabloid further reports on a planned demonstration by PAU union activists to be held on Thursday outside Parliament in Helsinki, at which they will call for an end to 'collective agreement shopping', which refers to the practice of employers unilaterally changing the collective agreement to which their workers are subject.

They want some 700 workers not covered by the deal to be brought within its remit after they were moved to a different company earlier this year.

They're also calling for the Posti board to resign.

This latest intensification of the dispute comes after the union rejected a proposal for new terms and conditions from the National Labour Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala on Tuesday.

"Bigger than ever"

Helsingin Sanomat is giddy with excitement as Finland's annual startup event Slush kicks off today at 10am in Helsinki. The paper writes that the event this year is "bigger than ever", with 25,000 visitors from 130 different countries expected to converge on the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre for 3 days of tech talk.

HS has picked out speeches by Irish entrepreneur John Collison -- who founded the online payment company Stripe with his brother Patrick -- and streaming giant Twitch’s co-founder Kevin Lin as being particular highlights.

The paper also writes that this year the theme at Slush is people's perceptions of the future from different points in history. One such display on this theme will be the space desert, for which 300,000 kilos of sand has been delivered to the Convention Centre.

"In addition, there are waterfalls, robot fish and the Game Cave, which will have different games from different decades. There will be surprising things for visitors at the event," Emma Lehikoinen, Content Director at Slush, told HS.

Bidding begins on drug cop's home

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that nearly 100 bids have already been made for the former house of disgraced police chief Jari Aarnio, who began his 13 year sentence for drug trafficking and official misconduct in June this year.

The association with the notorious criminal has not proved to be a deterrent for potential buyers, as IS writes that intense interest in the online auction has led to the price rising by more than 100,000 euros since bidding opened on Tuesday.

Aarnio was the former head of Helsinki's anti-narcotics unit until he was arrested in November 2013 and charged with running a sophisticated drug smuggling operation.

"It is perhaps a bit surprising how much interest this has aroused from the very start," Juha Henttala, a criminal superintendent from the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department, told the tabloid.

The house is open for bids until December 17, according to IS, so the final purchase price may increase substantially. The proceeds from the sale will be awarded to the State.

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