In response to the Confederation of Automotive and Transport Workers (AKT) announcement that bus drivers, maintenance garage staff, and stevedores in Finnish ports would go on strike on Wednesday and Thursday, affecting about 10,000 employees, Ilkka Oksala expressed disappointment. He stated that the strikes are beginning to have a significant impact on the Finnish economy, with around 100,000 workers participating in this week’s strikes alone. Oksala also warned that continuing the strikes could have a growing effect on companies operating in Finland.
The strikes are in opposition to the Orpo government’s working life reforms, which are supported by the parliament. The reforms are viewed by trade unions as weakening the position of the employee. Katarina Murto, chair of the OAJ, expressed regret over the strikes and called for SAK to come to the negotiation table to build a new salary formation model together with other unions.
According to EK, which believes that the Finnish economy’s problems are deep enough that the government needs to implement painful working life reforms despite opposition from trade unions, Katarina Murto’s call is welcome news. EK emphasized that the reforms had been approved by parliament after months of negotiations and belong to parliamentary democracy. EK did not protest against labor market policy of previous governments when they disagreed on multiple issues.
In conclusion, while EK is disappointed by AKT’s announcement and calls for SAK to negotiate with other unions instead of striking again, it recognizes that implementing painful working life reforms is necessary for Finland’s economic growth and prosperity.