Industrial Union declares extensive political strike for early February – – “We urge all workers to take part in the mass demonstration organised by SAK and STTK”

The Industrial Union has today, 18 January 2024, submitted notices of large-scale political strikes targeting several industrial sectors. The Industrial Union’s strikes are part of SAK’s joint Serious Grounds campaign. The campaign defends workers’ benefits, working conditions and rights against the impairments of the terms of working life as advocated by Prime Minister Orpo’s government. According to Riku Aalto, Chair of the Industrial Union, the announced strikes will bring a large part of Finnish industry to a halt.

“Tough measures are necessary because reason does not seem to work. Hopefully, the strikes will bring the government back down to earth. Unreasonable cuts and weakening of employees’ everyday lives are unequivocally wrong.”

“The impairment of the terms of working life advocated by the government are something much more than minor adjustments. Local agreements alone create two labour markets in Finland, one for foreigners and one for Finns. Is this really what we want?!”, Aalto wonders.

The Government has announced that it is planning additional savings outside the Government Programme, which are to be decided in the government discussion on spending limits in the spring. Aalto demands that Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Minister of Finance Riikka Purra announce in advance whether further cuts and reductions will again affect workers.

“The Government cannot keep billion-euro reductions as an clandestine operation. Workers have a right to know whether the government is going to put its hands even deeper into workers’ pockets.”

“Minister of Finance Purra claimed that Finns enjoy a significantly shorter working week compared to our peer countries. On the employee side, this statement is read as meaning that the Government is also considering extending working hours by means of legislation”, Aalto says.

SAK and STTK have announced that they will organise a major demonstration in Helsinki on Thursday 1 February 2024 against the impairment of the terms of working life. The Industrial Union encourages all employees to participate in the demonstration as much as possible.

“We urge all workers to participate in SAK and STTK’s mass demonstration. The more people there are, the stronger message we can send to the government that weakens workers’ rights”, Aalto concludes.

The strikes announced by the Industrial Union will take place as a two-day work stoppage between 1–2 February 2024. Around 60,000 industrial workers are affected by the strikes. Excluded from the strike are emergency work or work that is necessary for the protection of life and health.

More detailed information about the locations affected by the strike can be found here.