Chairmen and strike guards at the gates of the Kaukokiido terminal in Vantaa at 5:30 in the morning on 15 February.

Finnish Transport Workers’ Union Rejects Employer’s Proposal, Strikes Begin at Ports

Feb. 15, 2023 - Finnish Transport Workers’ Union, Auto-ja Kjetusala Työntekijäliitto (AKT), commenced its strike action on 15 February at 06:00 am (local time) impacting all ports and terminals in Finland.

AKT and employer organisations are at an impasse over wages and working conditions.

The strike that started earlier today will last until further notice with all vessel operations in Finland's ports, gate moves and handling of containers within terminals having been suspended until further notice.

AKT said that it held collective bargaining negotiations with employer organizations and a mediator until the last moments on Tuesday evening, 14 February. European Labour Authority Mediator, Leo Suomaa, gave settlement proposals to both the stevedoring sector and the truck, tanker and oil product sector as well as the terminal operations sector.

According to AKT, its divisions and the union's board discussed reconciliation proposals in their meetings on Tuesday evening. However, the presentations had to be rejected as “completely inadequate.”

AKT said negotiations have been held since the beginning of December, but the two sides have not been able to come to an agreement on wages and working conditions.

AKT said the goal is to have the wage level improved and corrected so that real wages do not fall. In addition, there are also important issues still to be agreed upon in the qualitative development of working conditions.

The negotiating parties will recommence the negotiations by 17 February.

The largest ports affected by the strike are Hamina-Kotka, Helsinki, Hanko, Kokkola, Naantali, Pori, Oulu, Rauma, Turku and Uusikaupunki. With 90 per cent of Finnish goods exports handled at ports, the strike could have serious repercussions for the foreign trade of Finland.

A list of affected operations can be found here

SOURCE: AKT and news reports