Dockers’ strike shuts down Finnish ports

Finnish dockers are on strike on Wednesday. (Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle)
Finnish dockers are on strike on Wednesday. (Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle)
Stevedores across Finland are on strike on Wednesday in a solidarity action in support of their colleagues in Tornio, a town in Finland’s Arctic Lapland province .

A strike called by the Transport Workers Union AKT has shut down ports across Finland on Wednesday morning. The day-long strike enacted by some 2,000 dock workers is an expression of support for a union representative in Tornio, Northern Finland.

Juha Anttila, the union’s secretary for dock agreements, claimed that their shop steward had been threatened by a representative of a Russian ship in the port, where dockers are currently on strike in a separate dispute. Anttila did not comment on the specific nature of the threat, but indicated that the AKT is taking the issue extremely seriously.

“We cannot accept threatening behaviour under any circumstances,” Anttila said. “It’s unfortunate that we had to react by striking, but our hand was forced. Finnish working life has certain rules.”

Dock workers throughout Finland are supporting the expression of solidarity, with some 600 stevedores on strike at the port of HaminaKotka. All strikers are expected to return to work on Thursday at 6 am.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Shipping challenges in Canada’s North-West, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News

Norway: Arctic Council key in making Northern shipping safe: society, CBC News

Russia: The future of LNG shipping in the Arctic, Alaska Dispatch

United States: Increased shipping in the North could threaten whales, CBC News

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