Some filling stations fear fuel shortage in northern Finland

Lapland petrol pumps could run dry if the strike continues. (Jakob Lillas / Yle)

Filling stations in northern Finland might run out of fuel, if a truckers’ strike continues as planned until next Tuesday.

Motorists in Lapland could face fuel shortages, if the strike called by truckers’ unions continues.

Most filling stations have reserves to last them around a week, with the busiest stations needing replenishment of petrol and diesel even earlier.

Fuel deliveries have been at a standstill since Wednesday, and at the busiest filling stations fuel could run out by this weekend, according to Mika Kuusela of the Lapland petrol merchants’ association.

“I just had a call cancelling this week’s fuel deliveries,” said Kuusela, adding that if the strike runs its course then there is a chance of fuel pumps running dry.

Many stations have not had capacity to build up reserves, while others have avoided large stockpiles because of price fluctuations.

Concerns over holiday season 

Kuusela also drew attention to the looming ski holiday season. Schools in the south of the country start their half-term holidays on Friday, with regions further north getting theirs over the following three weeks.

Many families head north during the break, and that puts extra stress on the fuel supplies in Lapland.

The transport union AKT and the employers organisation ALT are scheduled to meet on Friday at the office of the national labour conciliator. If no deal is reached, further strikes are planned to start.

Maintenance crews and long-distance bus staff could walk out on 1 March. The logistics strike affecting fuel deliveries is scheduled to end on Tuesday 21 February, but can be called off if there is a deal.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Government-set fuel prices up in some northern Canadian communities, CBC News

Yle News

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