Legal issues complicate postal strike action on both sides

The national mediator will sit down with both sides in this dispute to try and find common ground as industrial action is set to continue until 8th December.

File picture of Posti truck leaving Helsinki depot, 12th November 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

Mediation efforts continue on Friday between postal union PAU and the union representing postal workers’ employers Palta, to try and end an ongoing strike by thousands of workers.

PAU earlier rejected a Palta claim that the strike was unlawful and breached their labour agreement; while Posti has been warned by the government not to hire strike-busting temporary workers.

Posti says it will now publish daily lists of its agency staffing numbers, in the interests of transparency.

According to Posti around 11% of their workers in October were short-term agency hires; and they typically recruit up to 3,000 extra seasonal staff for the Christmas period.

So what is the strike about? 

Finland’s state-owned postal company Posti wants to switch the collective bargaining agreement for parcel force workers from one union to another, a move which staff say would lead to weaker terms and conditions and pay cuts between 30% and 50%.

Post and Logistics Union PAU says up to 9,000 postal workers are on strike, with services impacted around the country.

Municipalities and service providers like electricity companies and medical services have let local residents know they’re unlikely to get letters and parcels or bills on time, and are making special arrangements for customers in many cases.

The strike is set to continue until 8th December if no solution is found in arbitration talks.