Reflectors help pedestrians shine in the dark
Today is ‘National Reflector Day’ in Finland, at the start of the busiest and most deadly time of the year for pedestrians. Days are rapidly becoming shorter, and studies find that there are 40% more accidents between October and January, than at lighter times of the year: during summer, or when snow adds extra reflective light. Safety and transport organisations and the police are teaming up again this year to highlight the importance of wearing reflectors on clothing, and in optimal conditions you can be seen from seven times further away in the dark by traffic, than if you don’t wear a reflector. A promotional campaign in newspapers, with billboards and online will be running in 15 different Finnish cities and municipalities. Read more in our original story.
Overtime ban for public and welfare sector workers begins
The JHL union for public and welfare sector staff in Finland is starting industrial action today, with an overtime ban for members. Some 100,000 workers are involved in the ban to protest government plans to ease red tape for smaller companies to make people unemployed. The union sees the government’s proposals as a way to weaken protections for workers. Some of the industries affected by the industrial action include all services provided by central or local government like health, schools, universities, police, road maintenance, day care, services for the elderly, government office services and libraries. The union hasn’t set a time limit for how long the overtime ban will continue, but they say action that lasts just a few days rarely makes an impact.
Flags flying for Miina Sillanpää day
If you’re wondering why there are flags flying today, it’s to celebrate the life and work of Miina Sillanpää, Finland’s first female government minister. October 1st was made a flag day back in 2016 on the 150th anniversary of her birthday. Born in the 1860s she worked during her early life in factories, before becoming a maid and then the head of the Servants’ Association. Sillanpää was a social campaigner for workers and women’s rights, and became one of the first members of Finland’s parliament in 1907. In total she would spend 38 years as an elected MP, and became the Minister for Social Affairs. She continued to be active in the Social Democrat political party and edit magazines for workers as well. She is remembered as a trailblazer for female politicians, social mobility and workers’ rights.
Monday morning weather
It’s a cloudy and foggy start to the week across most of the country today, with just a few bright spots of sunshine punching through along the Ostrobothnia coast, and in the capital city region. Otherwise there’s a chance of sleet or snow in Kilpisjärvi area in the far north west, and temperatures stay in single digits everywhere on Monday morning, dipping as low as -3°C in parts of Lapland.