Charities step in to feed strike-affected children
Charities and good Samaritans have been stepping in to help low-income families provide lunches for children this week, as industrial action hits school kitchens for a second day and Finland’s poorest pupils are caught in the fight between unions and politicians. Unions are protesting against the government’s plans to make it easier for small businesses to fire employees, and one impacted area this week is food service workers in schools. Parents in many parts of the country are being asked to provide lunch for their children – and that can be an extra burden on low income families. “These are continuous and everyday problems for some of us, and this strike and the autumn holiday makes this horrible situation even worse for people who are doing tight of getting proper daily meals and are forced to live with viable support” says Heidi Jaari, Director of Operations at Apuna non-profit organisation. The charity provides assistance to hundreds of low income families who need food, clothing and household goods, and this week they’ve seen an increase in people looking for help to feed their children. Read more at our original story here.
Harassment problems at Foreign Ministry
A new study out this morning says the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is plagued by harassment issues that are not being properly dealt with. In the report, the Public Education Consultancy Organisation JUKO says that there have been dozens of reports of harassment at the ministry, but most of them have not been investigated in accordance with the ministry’s own internal instructions. “On the contrary, the employer has criticised staff representatives who have asked for clarification. This is very worrying” says Katja Aho a lawyer for JUKO. The Foreign Ministry’s own internal survey this spring revealed 54 cases of harassment reported to managers, but the matter was only investigated in accordance with correct procedures in 13 of those cases.
Unemployment continues to fall
The latest figures released this morning show the number of unemployed job seekers in Finland continues to fall. The Economic Development Office registered a total of 232,100 people out of work and looking for jobs at the end of September, that’s down 43,500 from the previous year, and a fall of 11,200 from the previous month. The number of long term unemployed people – those who had been out of work uninterrupted for at least a year – also fell to 70,300. That’s down by 27,900 from the year before.
Rail link stopped due to track repairs
Commuters in south west Finland are facing delays this morning on the stretch of track between Karja and Salo due to damaged ongoing repairs. The work was supposed to be finished already before this morning’s rush hour but due to damage on the rails it has been extended. Trains have been replaced by buses between Salo and Karja this morning but services should be back to normal by this afternoon.
Huskies rescued from fire
Five huskies were rescued from a fire that hit a husky farm in Taivalkoski, northern Ostrobothnia in the early hours of the morning. The farm’s maintenance building, where the five dogs were sleeping, was completely destroyed in the blaze. A worker was alerted to the fire by the barking dogs and able to sound the alarm and rescue the animals. Dozens of other huskies were safe in another enclosure about 30 metres away.
Tuesday morning weather
It’s a very chilly start to Tuesday morning with temperatures below zero cloud cover the norm across most of the country. In Lapland, temperatures dip down to -6°C and don’t get much warmer except on the far southern coast where it will start the day at +7°C. The best of the sunshine first thing this morning is in the eastern border.