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12.02.2024 17:19

Do I get paid if I can’t work because of a strike in another industry?

PAM members might face a situation where they cannot do their work because of a strike in another industry. The right to pay depends on the reason working is not possible.

The impact on income depends on if it is the worker’s place of work that is closed, or if a worker cannot work because a child’s day care is closed or because there’s no transportation to the workplace.

If working is inhibited because the place you work is closed

Employees are entitled to receive their wages if they are prevented from working for reasons beyond the control of the employer or the employee. If the reason is industrial action by other workers, wages are paid for a maximum of 7 days. But this requires that it is not possible to perform the work at your own workplace.

If you cannot do your work, the employer may give you other work. The place of work and the tasks agreed in the employment contract might affect what right the employer has to move you to do other work.

In practice giving other work does not happen often, because if you start different work, you must have training in how to do the work and in safety. It is often too much work to start training a worker for different work if the normal work stops only for a short time.

If you need to stay home to care for a small child

An employee can stay home, if it is necessary because a small child’s day care is closed. If the absence from work is necessary, there can be no warning given or other consequences for the worker. But in that case the employer does not have an obligation to pay salary.

If transport is stopped

Sometimes industrial action interferes with journeys to work. Employees are in principle obliged to try to get to work by all reasonable means.

If there is no replacement public transport, you have no car, carpooling or cycling is not possible due to the length of the journey, a strike may be considered a valid reason to stay away from work. In these circumstances, absence cannot be considered unjustified, and therefore cannot lead to a warning or other consequences.

However, the employer does not have an obligation to pay wages so the absence is without pay. An exception is night workers’ right to commuter service organised by the employer if no public transport with a reasonable route or timetable is available at the time the employee’s shift begins or ends, and the employee does not have a car or comparable means of transport at their disposal for the commute. Night work is work done between 11pm and 6am.

It is recommended that you explain the situation to your employer in advance and agree on how to proceed.

If a PAM member does work that is declared on strike

If the work that you do is part of another union’s strike, you should also strike, even if you are a PAM member. In such a case PAM members can apply for strike pay from the SAK-affiliated trade union that declared the strike.

Example: You work with childcare at kindergarten and JHL has declared a strike at your workplace. You go on strike with the other employees and as a PAM member you can apply for strike pay from JHL.

List of industrial action by SAK trade unions 11-16 February 2024