Thursday 09.07.2020

Trains will stop next week in support of the postal strike

If Posti employees do not reach an agreement with the company to end the industrial action, rail traffic in southern Finland will stop on 2 December.

A VR train at the Helsinki station. Photo: Soile Laaksonen/© VR Group.
A VR train at the Helsinki station. Photo: Soile Laaksonen/© VR Group.

Posti workers continue to add support in their fight against lowering wages and impoverishing their working conditions. In fact, sympathy strikes are increasing among employees of the main public services throughout the country.

On Monday, when an agreement to end the industrial action seemed closer -some media published a deal between Posti and the unions was imminent- the railroad workers announced that they will also stop working next week in solidarity with their colleagues in the postal service.

After two weeks of strike, the workers of the national postal service have gathered and increasing amount of sympathy among Finns, despite the annoyances their action might cause.

The origin of the conflict is the company's decision to transfer some 700 workers in parcel sorting services under the scope of a new collective agreement negotiated by Teollisuusliitto (Finnish Industrial Union) and Medialiitto (Finnmedia).

According to the union of postal workers (PAU), for the employees this would mean important wage cuts and reductions on work conditions.

Rail transport to stop in southern Finland

Last week, the strikers gained support from unions in fields such as maritime and rail freight transport. Now, when the strike threatens to extend until December, it is the workers of the passenger rail transport services who have expressed their intention to support the Posti workers.

RAU, the railway workers' union, announced Monday in a press release new support measures if the postal service employees and the company cannot reach an agreement to end the strike.

The main of these measures is the 24-hour shutdown of urban rail transport in southern Finland. This will happen between 3:00 AM on Monday 2 December and 3:00 AM on Tuesday 3 December. This will prevent all rolling stock powered by electricity from operating in the Helsinki Regional Transportation Area (HSL) and in the southern part of the country.

Commuter and intercity trains

In addition, VR drivers of commuter trains will join the protest the same day.

Intercity and freight rail traffic will also stop one day later, from 3:00 AM on Tuesday 3 December until 3:00 AM on Wednesday 4 December.

But the first to stop will be the office workers. If there is no agreement between Posti and its employees, the people employed for example in customer services, ticket sales, freight traffic management and financial management will stop next Friday 29 November at 6:00 AM until Saturday 30 November at 6:00 AM.