Daycare center Impivaara in Tapanila, Helsinki, closed on January 31, 2024, due to a strike. Among others, Tehy and Super have announced strikes in the early childhood education sector in the capital region. The political strike is in opposition to the government's weakening of labor conditions. The strike is scheduled for January 31 to February 1, 2024. LEHTIKUVA

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POLITICAL STRIKES will continue to disrupt everyday life in Finland on Friday, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

Metro, tram and the majority of train services will be unavailable today due to a one-day strike staged by the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL). VR, the state-owned railway company of Finland, has stated that its night trains will run as usual in spite of the strike.

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) has stated that it will be able to operate only a small share of its bus services in the capital region during the strike.

Long-distance coach services will be disrupted by a one-day strike by the Transport Workers’ Union (AKT). Matkahuolto and Onnibus have communicated that the strike will inevitably cause some cancellations, both promising to provide real-time information on the availability of services on their website.

Services may be cancelled or delayed at a short notice, though. Both Matkahuolto and Onnibus have promised to compensate passengers who had bought tickets for cancelled services.

Air travel has experienced widespread disruptions since yesterday due to, for example, work-stoppages scheduled for 2pm—6pm on Thursday and Friday by the Finnish Aviation Union. Finnair, for example, has reported that the industrial actions will severely complicate its operations, forcing it to cancel roughly 550 flights scheduled for the two-day period.

Typically the majority state-owned airline has around 280 flights in its daily traffic programme.

The strike by transport workers has also disrupted letter and parcel deliveries. Posti has estimated that the deliveries may be delayed by a couple of days due to the strike.

The first in the widespread series of strikes shut down both public and private kindergartens across the capital region on Wednesday. The kindergartens will re-open as usual on Friday.

Service Union United (PAM) on Thursday staged a strike that forced many shops, hotels and restaurants to close their doors. The establishments are expected to resume normal operations on Friday.

Also a number of production facilities were shut down yesterday due to strikes by the Finnish Industrial Union, Trade Union Pro and Paperworkers’ Union. The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has estimated that the strikes could dent the gross domestic product to the tune of 360 million euros, when accounting for both direct and multiplier effects.

Trade unions have organised the almost unprecedented series of strikes in protest of government proposals to reform working life and slash social security benefits.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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