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Two-day strike hits schools, public facilities

Welfare sector union JHL is staging a two-day strike starting on October 22 that could halt the supply of food to schools, daycares, and homes for the elderly.

JHL:n logo talon seinässä
Image: Mesut Turan / Lehtikuva

The 48-hour work stoppage, which will also close some libraries and sports facilities, is a reaction to a government bill that would make it easier for small firms with fewer than 10 employees to fire workers. On Tuesday the government announced it was moving ahead with the bill, which unions see as a loss of protection from summary dismissal.

The government will face a confidence vote in Parliament over the bill on Wednesday afternoon. The planned industrial action follows a 24-hour strike staged by labour unions earlier this month to protest the layoff bill.

The strike encompasses the cleaning, property maintenance and food service sectors as well as sports and culture services.

“The government is kowtowing to employers by stubbornly pushing forward the bill, which would divide employees into two classes depending on how large their workplace is. The government cannot unilaterally dictate employment terms in Finland. The unions must stand up to the undermining of employment terms. The show put on by Prime Minister Sipilä in parliament changes nothing,” said JHL’s President Päivi Niemi-Laine in a release on Wednesday.

More than 10,000 union members are expected to join the strike which applies to employees under the general collective agreement for municipal personnel.

The overtime ban issued by JHL earlier this month will end on Sunday, October 21.

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