Passengers at Helsinki Airport on 16 January 2024. Finnair, the majority state-owned airline of Finland, has estimated that the industrial actions scheduled for 1–2 February could affect the travel plans of up to 60,000 passengers. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS at Finnish Aviation Union (IAU) on Tuesday decided in favour of organising work stoppages as part of widespread political strikes on 1–2 February.

The four-hour stoppages will cover union members who provide ground handling services, such as baggage, de-icing and passenger services, onboard catering services and air cargo services to a variety of airlines.

Organised in protest of the labour market reforms and social security cuts laid out by the government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP), the stoppages will take place primarily between 2pm and 6pm on 1 and 2 February.

Finnair, the Finnish majority state-owned airline, has reported that the industrial actions announced by several unions will “unfortunately” have a “significant impact” on its flights, with cancellations unavoidable. The carrier has promised to contact all passengers affected by the changes or cancellations directly by text or e-mail.

Flights between 31 January and 3 February can be re-scheduled or postponed to no later than 15 March, according to Finnair.

Also a number of other trade unions have announced strikes and other industrial actions in protest of what they regard as an effort to gnaw away at the position of wage earners. Service Union United (PAM), for example, has announced a strike targeting a long list of hotels, restaurants and retail points, including the supermarkets of Lidl, Kesko and S Group.

The Finnish Industrial Union on Thursday revealed that about 60,000 of its members will go on strike at 700 workplaces across Finland on 1–2 February. Chairperson Riku Aalto estimated that the strikes will disrupt the majority of industrial production country but assured that they would not jeopardise emergency work or work that is needed to guarantee public safety.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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