Sympathy strikes staged by the Transport Workers’ Union (AKT) and Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) are expected to severely disrupt bus services in Greater Helsinki on Monday. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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THE SYMPATHY STRIKES of the Transport Workers’ Union (AKT) and Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) could all but completely halt bus services in Greater Helsinki on Monday, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Both AKT and JHL have today expanded their sympathy strikes to cover the services of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL).

Marko Piirainen, the chairperson of AKT, confirmed to the newspaper yesterday that the 24-hour strike will start at 3am on Monday, bringing nearly all bus services to a halt due to its coincidence with the strike of JHL.

HSL, by contrast, estimated earlier yesterday that over a half of bus services will be unavailable due to the strikes staged in support of the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (PAU). Mika Häyrynen, the head of procurement at HSL, declined to speculate which of the estimates proves accurate but added that the situation will be monitored closely during the course of Monday.

Tero Anttila, the head of transport planning at HSL, reminded Helsingin Sanomat that it is impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the effects of the strikes due to the specific circumstance of each service provider.

Roughly 90 per cent of bus services in the capital region are provided by Helsingin Bussiliikenne, Nobina and Pohjolan Liikenne, according to him.

HSL has instructed public transport users to use metros, trains and trams instead.

Ville Uusi-Rauva, the head of public transport operating conditions at HSL, told Helsingin Sanomat that the strike will have an impact particularly in residential areas reliant heavily on bus services.

“These kinds of areas include Espoonlahti, Hakunila, Jakomäki and Laajasalo, to name a few,” he stated to the newspaper.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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