Finnish ports set to close on 18 September


Helsinki

Finland's ports are set to be closed on 18 September as the Transport Workers Union (ATK) is planning to hold a strike action against the government's proposed changes to the existing labour contracts.

More than 50,000 workers in the country's transportation industry on the road and at harbours are expected to participate in the strike.

The industrial action is against reforms that include docking pay for the first day of sick leave, reduced compensation for overtime work and work on Sunday, as well as termination of two bank holidays, reported state broadcaster YLE.

The strike, which has been called by three major Labour Unions in Finland, will see all activities at the ports coming to a standstill from 8am, with demonstrations and protests to begin at 11am.

"More than 50,000 workers in the country's transportation industry on the road and at harbours are expected to participate in the strike."

The latest strike follows a similar protest in March this year in support of icebreaker crews after Finnish icebreakers were pulled out of service.

Finland's ports have been witnessing declining container traffic for a number of years, with the country still in its fifth year of economic stagnation.

Unemployment has increased by 12% in the country, which is also facing decreased demand for its traditional exports.

Additionally, sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia have also significantly impacted operations and revenues at Finnish companies and ports, according to JOC.com.


Image: South Harbour in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: courtesy of Ralf Roletschek.