Finnish cargo ships carry roughly 100 million euros’ worth of export goods on a daily basis, according to the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

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A TASK FORCE of four labour market experts has been appointed to find a settlement to the dispute over the terms and conditions of employment in the postal sector, Sirpa Paatero (SDP), the Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, announced on Thursday.

National Conciliator Vuokko Piekkala said to STT on Thursday the collective bargaining negotiations will not continue under her guidance until an agreement has been found on the fate of 700 parcel-sorting employees at Posti.

The Finnish state-owned postal services provider is intent on transferring the employees to its subsidiary, Posti Palvelut. It would move the employees from under the coverage of a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (PAU) to one by the Finnish Industrial Union.

PAU on 11 November launched a weeks-long strike that is causing delays of several weeks in letter and several days in parcel deliveries.

The expert task force is under great pressure to settle the dispute also because a number of other trade unions have launched and announced strikes in support of PAU. The sympathy strikes are threatening to cancel the departures of cruise and merchant ships, complicate the operations of airports and disrupt public transport services in the capital region as of Monday.

The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) on Thursday estimated that roughly a third of foreign trade will be affected if merchant ships are forced to sit on their moorings.

“The work stoppages in the logistics sector will have a negative impact on the entire public economy, especially if they continue for a while,” said Penna Urrila, the chief economist at EK.

“Finnish businesses are often part of supply chains where goods have to be delivered on time. Disruptions in deliveries have a negative impact on the competitiveness of Finnish businesses in time-critical areas and Finland’s appeal as an investment target,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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