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JHL heightens industrial action, two-day strike at the beginning of next week

The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL is continuing its political industrial action, in opposition to the lay-off bill. The union’s Executive Committee has decided to initiate a political strike on 22 October. The duration of the strike is two days and it will impact cleaning, property maintenance, food services and sports and culture services.

JHL’s Executive Committee has decided to initiate a political strike in opposition to the lay-off bill. The strike will begin on Monday, 22 October at 0.01 am and will end on Tuesday, 23 October at midnight. The overtime and shift-trading ban declared earlier by JHL will end on Sunday, 21 October at midnight. The strike concerns the cleaning, property maintenance and food service sectors and sports and culture services. Workplaces affected by the strike are listed on the website jhl.fi/viimeinenniitti (in Finnish).  More than 10,000 JHL members will be on strike.

The strike applies to employees who fall under the general collective agreement for municipal personnel, the collective agreement for municipal technical personnel, the collective agreement for municipal hourly-paid personnel or the AVAINTES collective agreement. Persons working under a service contract are excluded from the strike.

It is possible that food may not be supplied at schools, day-care centres and care services for the elderly during the strike. The strike will also impact the cleaning of facilities. Some maintenance work will not be carried out and some libraries and cultural centres and municipal sports centres will be closed for the duration of the strike.

The union apologises for any inconvenience and trouble that the strike may cause for third parties. But it is necessary to act now because secure work benefits us all. JHL has announced gradually escalating industrial action if Finland’s government does not discontinue its preparation of the bill. This has not happened.

“The government is kowtowing to employers by stubbornly pushing forward the bill, which would divide employees into two classes depending on how large their workplace is. The government cannot unilaterally dictate employment terms in Finland. The unions must stand up to the undermining of employment terms. The show put on by Prime Minister Sipilä in parliament changes nothing,” says JHL’s President Päivi Niemi-Laine.

The lay-off bill would also increase gender inequality on the labour markets, Niemi-Laine points out. The current government’s anti-women economic policy has cut into women’s income more and more often than men’s. Niemi-Laine reminds us that the collective agreements of many male-dominated fields offer additional protection in lay-off situations, which is lacking in female-dominated sectors.

JHL’s Executive Committee emphasises that the union is ready to continue the industrial action if the preparation of the bill moves forward. New industrial actions will probably be announced over the next few weeks, says Håkan Ekström, JHL’s Chief Executive Officer.

“JHL’s members fully support this industrial action. We are ready to continue fighting if our government gives us reason to do so,” Ekström assures us.

For more information:

Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of JHL, tel. 040 702 4772
Håkan Ekström, Chief Executive Officer, tel. 040 828 2865