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Tuesday’s papers: Healthcare sector harassment, airport pink ribbon protest, and security workers' strike

Finland's press on Tuesday examined harassment in healthcare, the story behind the security staff walkout at Helsinki Airport on Monday and an announced strike by thousands of security workers scheduled to start Wednesday.

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The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Daily Helsingin Sanomat featured a story about harassment on the job in the healthcare sector. Rayan Hämäläinen, 28, a nurse told the newspaper how she’s been called names, threatened, and endured physical advances by patients.

“When I didn’t agree to one patient’s suggestion of sex, I was called ‘a devilish, redheaded truck driving lesbian,’” Hämäläinen said.

Her story reflects a dilemma that despite the rise of the #metoo campaign, harassment has not decreased in the sector, according to the paper.

Helsingin Sanomat cited a Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) survey that found that 38 percent of women and 9 percent of men had experienced harassment in their current or previous job.

Compared to other sectors, harassment appears to be more prevalent in among social and healthcare workers, according to the paper. A survey by Tehy, the Union of Social and Healthcare Professionals, found that 43 percent of women and 28 percent of men in the sector have experienced harassment on the job.

“Compared to ten years ago the #metoo campaign allowed more people to talk about their experiences. Back then every third person who was harassed didn’t tell anyone about it,” Tehy’s work environment specialist Kaija Ojanperä told Helsingin Sanomat.

Proud mother

Tabloid Iltalehti followed up on a story about a worker who was fired from his job at Helsinki Airport for wearing a pink ribbon in support of breast cancer survivors.

On Monday some of his co-workers at Airpro walked off the job for more than four hours on Monday afternoon after he lost his job for refusing to remove the ribbon off his uniform.

The young man’s mother Tarja Leppänen was interviewed by the paper who said that she was proud of her 22-year-old son Patrik.

She said she has herself survived breast cancer as have many women in their family, including her own mother who died of the illness, saying that Patrik had been deeply affected by it.

“Perhaps that’s what made him stand his ground,” Leppänen said. “I’m very proud of him.”

Security worker strike looms

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat delved into the possible side effects of a three-day strike threatened by 8,500 security sector workers from the trade union PAM. The security sector has been operating without a collective agreement since May 1, according to the paper.

Union representatives said the industrial action will begin on Wednesday and end on Friday.

According to the newspaper many Helsinki shopkeepers will bring in extra staff during the strike to ensure that there are more people around, in the hopes they will help to defuse potential trouble at the shops.

An effort will be also be made to ensure essential services - like security phone call services for seniors - are functional, according to the newspaper.

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