Saturday, February 06, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Shipping traffic halted by wildcat strike in Finland Feb 5 2010

More than half of Finland's was brought to a standstill on Tuesday 2
February by a wildcat strike by 1000 stevedores in seven ports.

The Swedish Wire reported:
"Seven ports have informed us that operations are at a standstill and
workers have gone on an illegal strike," Juha Mutru, chief executive of
the Finnish Port Operators Association, told AFP.

"Container traffic is more or less at a standstill, and more than half of
Finland's freight traffic has ground to a halt," he said.

About half of all goods transported in and out of export-reliant Finland
pass through the ports of Helsinki and Kotka, where employees are
participating in the one-day strike, Mutru said.

Some 1,000 workers walked off the job Tuesday to "speed up labour
negotiations," a spokeswoman for the transport workers' union said.

Following a breakdown of labour talks, the union on Monday set a deadline
of February 19 to reach an agreement on a new collective labour contract.

It warned stevedores in all of Finland's 25 ports it would strike if no
deal was reached by then.

In addition to Helsinki and Kotka, the ports affected by Tuesday's strikes
include Turku, Uusikaupunki, Hanko, Kokkola and Naantali. Mutru said that
the port of Rauma had announced a one-day strike for Wednesday.

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