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11.12.2023 10:25

PAM called a political strike: Strikes stop work in logistics and distribution centers on 14 December

The Service Union United PAM has called a strike at numerous workplaces around Finland. The strikes are a way to protest the Orpo-Purra government’s unnecessary weakening of working life and harsh cuts on unemployment and social security.  

– Numerous organizations in the social sector, experts and PAM have in numerous ways underlined throughout the whole autumn that the government’s policy will increase poverty. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also calculated that child poverty will increase in Finland. I would have hoped for a different reaction from the Prime Minister to SAK’s negotiation proposal than just a NO, says PAM chair Annika Rönni-Sällinen.

– However, the government’s actions will not stop the debt from growing, but income differences will increase as the living conditions of those with higher incomes improve and those with low incomes deteriorate. This shows that there would be alternatives if the government was interested in them.

The trade union movement has engaged in discussions of a new salary model. However, this is not enough, we need a wider discussion on various topics.

–For example, the right to strike and local bargaining are essential to the labour market model. The government cannot push for significant changes in the legislation concerning these two and assume that an agreement will be reached on just one piece of the puzzle. The government must be ready to listen to the views of wage-earners also in other matters related to the labour market, Rönni-Sällinen states.

At its meeting on December 8, 2023, PAM’s Executive Committee decided on 24-hour strikes at many workplaces covered by the commerce sector collective agreement. For example, logistics and distribution centers of Inex, Kesko and Lidl have been announced as strike sites on 14 December 2023. PAM’s strikes are part of the confederation SAK’s joint SeriousGrounds action day and campaign. PAM will complete the list of strike sites at the beginning of the week.

– Usually, strikes are our way of putting pressure on employers. Now we find ourselves in this situation because of the government’s policy. Throughout the autumn, we have tried to influence the government with some minor actions, but it has had no effect. We have to defend service sector workers and their families when the government unjustifiably undermines their well-being, Rönni-Sällinen states. The strikes declared by PAM include all employees who work at the strike sites in jobs covered by PAM collective agreements.

Strikes sites announced on 8 December

The strike does not apply to emergency work, nor tasks that could endanger vital activities for society.  

Follow how the situation progresses at pam.fi/serious-grounds

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