18 Feb 2010

Finnish strike postponed

The threatened strike by bus and truck drivers will not begin on Sunday. The walkout in the road transport industry is to begin at 6 pm on Monday March 2 if no deal is reached by then.

Mediation efforts continued on Thursday under National Labour Conciliator Esa Lonka. In the afternoon the Transport Workers' Union (AKT) announced that the strike would be postponed for two weeks even if no final settlement is reached in the next few days.

Otherwise the strike by truck and bus drivers would have started on Sunday, causing serious potential problems as school winter holidays start across southern Finland. The strike would affect about 10,000 members of the Transport Workers Union. Some municipal bus services would not be affected.

Employee demands include extending the length of minimum work shifts -- a move that management says would be too expensive. The AKT is also threatening a strike by dock workers.

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