The Industrial Union starts shutting down industrial production – political strikes in Lapland and Oulu

The Industrial Union is launching political strikes on 7 November in protest of the Governments impairments to working life. The strikes will take the form of one-day walkouts in the electoral districts of Lapland and Oulu. This means interrupting industrial production at facilities belonging to the companies targeted by the strike. The industrial action is part of SAK’s joint Serious Grounds campaign, which aims to defend workers against the Government’s one-sided plans to weaken workers’ rights.

“The Orpo Cabinet has not shown any genuine desire to talk to workers about these cuts and erosions of their rights. That’s why the Industrial Union has no choice but to start partially shutting down industrial production to protect workers’ rights.”

“The measures hurt companies and the economy, but the damage they cause is unavoidable if we want to protect workers’ rights and terms of employment”, says Industrial Union Vice Chairman Turja Lehtonen.

“Drafting restrictions to the right to strike is nothing but theatre”

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has submitted a legislative package focused around restricting the right to strike. The Industrial Union has criticised the draft as being nothing but theatre, the end results of which can be read in the Government Programme. According to Lehtonen, it is clear that the Government also has no intention of listening to workers when it comes to any other impairments to working life.

“The Government Programme is a historic attempt at weakening workers’ rights. Job security and earnings-related unemployment security are being wrecked. Drafting restrictions to the right to strike is a perfect example of how the Government intends to move forward. We cannot accept them imposing measures like this.”

“Before the elections, Prime Minister Orpo promised that no one would be put in an unreasonable position. We want the Government to keep that promise when it comes to workers as well. Right now, it doesn’t look like they have any intention of doing so, and that’s why we have to strengthen our response”, Lehtonen explains.

After restrictions on the right to strike, the next item on the Government’s agenda is a package on local agreements. The Industrial Union believes these changes will open up the door for the erosion of employment terms on the level of individual workplaces and the bypassing of shop stewards at unorganised companies.

“The Government’s goal is to scrap the protections that collective agreements offer workers, along with their general applicability. By replacing the local agreement system, we will be creating a race to the bottom when it comes to terms of employment. When you boil it down to its essence, it’s all about cutting wages. This isn’t what Finnish workers asked for”, Lehtonen concludes.

In its political industrial action, the Industrial Union observes a notice period of at least four days where possible. The walkouts do not apply to emergency work or to work that is necessary for the protection of life and health. The walkouts on Tuesday 7 November will last one day. The workplaces participating in the walkouts are located in the electoral districts of Lapland and Oulu. The workplaces are the following:

Keitele Timber – Kemijärven saha, Keitele Wood Products – Kemijärven liimapuutehdas, Lappset Group – Rovaniemi, E.T. Listat – Ylivieska, Haapajärven Ha-Sa – Haapajärven veistämö, Haapajärven Ha-Sa – Haapajärvi, Haapaveden Ha-Sa – Haapavesi, Hydnum – Muhos, Kemet Electronics – Suomussalmi, Kuhmo Oy – Kuhmo, Leden Finland – Nivala, Leden Finland – Sievi, Eletie, Leden Finland – Sievi, Teollisuustie, Pihla Group – Haapajärvi, Piklas – Pyhäntä, Pölkky – Kajaanin tuotantolaitos, Sartorius Biohit Liquid – Handling, Kajaani, Scanfil EMS – Sievi sekä Telatek Works – Taivalkosken tehdas.

More information on workplaces and walkouts can be found here. The Industrial Union will make further announcements regarding the new walkouts tomorrow, 3 November.