Postal strike is set to escalate

The strike at Posti, the government owned postal services company is set to escalate. The reason for this strike is the employer's decision to force some 700 Posti employees into another collective agreement.
13.11. 11:53
SAK
Postal workers staging a demonstration in Helsinki on 12 November, 2019. Photo: Juha Pöyry / PAU

The Finnish Post and Logistics Union PAU is determined to resist this move claiming that this would mean a serious cut in pay for their members. Negotiations failed to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome and so strike action commenced on Monday 11 November.

Now several other unions say that they are ready to support the strike with further strikes unless there is real progress this week in negotiations on a new collective agreement.

JHL, The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors announced that it will have a two-day solidarity strike starting on Tuesday, 19 November, if necessary. This would close down the freight train yards. The freight trains service would then strike the following day.

"The Posti management is trying in a completely unscrupulous, immoral way to achieve profit by stamping on terms of employment. They want employees to pay for the profit goals so cherished by Posti", say Päivi Niemi-Laine, JHL President.

PAU enjoys close cooperation with other transport unions, and they all warn that using strike breakers will lead to wider sympathy strikes affecting areas like sea and air traffic. The Finnish Aviation Union IAU have already stopped handling mail at all airports.

The question of strike-breakers is relevant, as Posti normally uses quite a lot of rental labour. According to PAU there has already been signs that rental labour and people with zero-hours contracts have been recruited to do work during the strike.

Right now the postal strike covers workers in mail delivery, handling and transportation. PAU has announced that from 25 November the strike will cover all companies in the Posti Group. This would also close post offices and several other working places. This strike would then involve10,000 employees, one thousand more than now.

Heikki Jokinen / Freelancer