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A snowboarder at a ski resort in Saariselkä, Finnish Lapland, on 1 June 2020. (Aku Häyrynen – Lehtikuva)

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NORTH EUROPEAN INVEST, a tourism industry group headquartered in Muonio, Finnish Lapland, will begin consultative negotiations that could affect up to 2,000 of its employees in the tourism and accommodation sector, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The group, for example, owns five ski resorts and hotel chains such as Lapland Hotels.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday wrote that the group has a total of 342 employees, but the negotiations also cover about 1,400 regular seasonal workers in the tourism sector and 300 seasonal workers in automotive testing.

“This is shocking news to everyone,” Pekka Soini, the board chairperson at North European Invest, said to Helsingin Sanomat.

“Everyone naturally understands the situation that if there are no customers, there’s no work. Activity providers especially largely get their customers from international customers,” he commented.

The newspaper reported that the scope of the necessary cost-cutting measures should become more evident as the negotiations move forward and the outlook for next winter becomes clearer in the coming weeks. The measures on the table include changes in job descriptions and conversions of full-time contracts to part-time contracts, in addition to temporary and permanent lay-offs.

“It’s a question of how many customers turn up and how we’re able to make predictions about international tourism flows. We can make adjustments on that basis, about how many staff we need and about whether we'll have to close some shops,” said Soini.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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