The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) has announced a continuation of its political strikes against the Finnish Government's austerity measures. These strikes, part of a broader campaign to protest against what the union views as unfair governmental policies, are scheduled to take place over three days in different regions: Central Finland on November 21, Uusimaa on November 22, and Pirkanmaa on November 23.
These strikes are expected to significantly impact various public services. In Central Finland, JHL members from Gradia Vocational College, University of Jyväskylä, and several other organizations will participate, affecting services like laundry operations. In Uusimaa, the strikes will primarily disrupt sports and catering services in multiple municipalities, significantly impacting school and daycare catering. Espoo and Nurmijärvi's catering services will see substantial participation from JHL members.
Pirkanmaa will experience notable disruptions in public transportation, particularly in Tampere. The city's tram services will halt, and bus services will face disturbances on November 23. Additionally, facility maintenance, waste management, and energy sector employees in Pirkanmaa, including those at Tampereen Energia, are joining the strikes. This participation will lead to a halt in maintenance work on district heating networks, power plants, and district heating plants.
JHL's Chief Executive Officer Håkan Ekström emphasized the government's lack of response to their demands and the continued threat to employee rights, including the right to strike, the status of shop stewards, and the basic security of people in Finland. Ekström also expressed gratitude towards union members for their participation, underscoring that the union's strength lies in its members.
He noted that while JHL aims to achieve results through negotiation, the government's current stance shows an unwillingness to engage in meaningful dialogue.
These strikes are part of the "Serious Grounds" campaign led by the central organization SAK, opposing the Finnish Government's plans to dramatically weaken social security and basic employee rights. The campaign and the ensuing strikes highlight the growing tension between trade unions and the government over labor and social policies in Finland.