A series of industrial actions will cause severe disruptions to public transport services in Greater Helsinki on Friday, reports Helsinki Region Transport (HSL).
HSL on Tuesday revealed that the demonstrations and work stoppages are expected to halt all metro and tram services for the entire day, and the majority of bus services from 3am to 6pm. Buses, it added, are expected to start gradually resuming regular services as of 6pm on Friday.
The industrial actions will be organised in protest of the activation model for unemployment security introduced in January by the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).
The trade unions and trade union confederations taking part in the actions include the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the Finnish Industrial Union, the Finnish Construction Union, the Transport Workers’ Union (AKT), and the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL).
Local Government Employers (KT) has expressed its disapproval with the decision of the metro and tram staff who are members of JHL to participate in the protest and halt light and rapid rail transit services in Greater Helsinki.
“The participation of these organisations will complicate municipal operations. We can expect traffic chaos because bus services are set to stop at the same time as the protesters head to central Helsinki,” says Markku Jalonen, the head of labour market affairs at JHL. “The rail service strike will affect innocent municipal residents by preventing them from getting to work. The scale is unreasonable.”
The impacts of the industrial actions will also be felt outside the capital region. Helsingin Sanomat writes that the actions will severely disrupt local and regional bus services in all major cities in Finland, including Jyväskylä, Lahti, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.
VR has estimated that the protests should have no impact on its commuter and long-distance rail services.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi