Finland dock strike ends

Backlogs are expected to clear swiftly, while the question of the strike's motivation is still open. (Linus Hoffman / Yle)
Backlogs are expected to clear swiftly, while the question of the strike’s motivation is still open. (Linus Hoffman / Yle)
The dock workers’ strike sanctioned by the Finnish trade union AKT has ended after a full day’s work stoppage.

Ship reroutings and work backlogs are expected.

Dock workers at the HaminaKotka harbour and everywhere else in Finland have returned to their jobs on Thursday after a day-long strike brought Finland’s sea ports to a standstill.

The industrial action has raised eyebrows concerning the motives of the stoppage. Next the workers will focus on clearing their backlog of duties and managing the necessary scheduling changes.

”Some of the ships coming in will have made route modifications to account for the strike,” says harbour traffic director Markku Koskinen. The strike has also affected the efficacy of Turku harbour, one of the most important ports in Finland. Deputy chief shop steward Ville Helenius says that the backlog in Turku will be cleared in a single workday.

The Finnish Seamen’s Union claims that the North-Western Shipping Company is slashing its workers’ pay and possibly even freight agreement prices.

A written threat to shop steward Jarmo Pekkarinen has been cited as the reason for the strike. Other officials have denounced the drastic action taken by AKT: the Confederation of Finnish Industries claims that the nationwide work stoppage showed a disregard for Finnish employment.

Related stories from around the North:

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

Finland: Dockers’ strike shuts down Finnish ports, 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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