Morning headlines: Monday 11th November 2019

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Nine thousand workers begin extended postal strike

Around nine thousand postal workers have gone on strike as the PAU union mobilizes industrial action in response to Posti’s attempts to move 700 parcel workers to a new collective bargaining agreement. The new agreement would weaken working conditions and cut salaries up to 50% for some workers. The two sides are supposed to meet for arbitration on Wednesday but are said to be far apart in their negotiating positions. The union says it is going to extend the strike by another two weeks, until 8th December if a solution is not found to the dispute. PAU’s Heidi Nieminen claimed Monday morning on MTV News that Posti cut a hole in a fence around a sorting depot to bring in strike-busting workers. Posti says it is sticking to the agreed number of staff on its payroll.

Appeal for ski jump incident begins today 

The Court of Appeal in Helsinki will start to hear the case of an incident at a ski jump in August 2015 when one person died and two were injured. Three teenagers were on the artificial ski jump slope in Herttoniemi late in the evening and hit a wire rope which was installed years before to prevent vandalism on the hill. The District Court sentenced three employees of the City of Helsinki to fines for their part in the incident, ruling that the ropes should have been removed, more clearly marked or better precautions taken to stop people entering the area when it is closed. The officials deny they committed a crime and the Appeal Court will hear their case starting Monday.

Dutch company buying Cramo machinery rental 

A Dutch company is buying Finnish machinery rental company Cramo for €600 million. Boels and Cramo signed a merger agreement on Monday with Boels offering €13.25 per Cramo share. The Board of Directors have unanimously recommended that the offer from the Netherlands is approved. The completion of the takeover bid is subject to the condition that Boels acquires more than 90% of Cramo shares. Last week Cramo announced that it was weighing up a potential takeover bid.

Nordic ministers make statement on equal rights 

Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Trade Ville Skinnari (SDP) has joined his counterparts from the other Nordic countries to publish an open letter about their concerns of deteriorating rights for women. “The advancement of women’s rights and empowerment has been vital to the development of our societies and have made it possible for our entire populations to participate in the labour force and in building our economies” the ministers write. They add that the social and economic benefits of gender equality are well known but despite this hundreds of millions of women lack access to modern contraceptives; every day 33,000 girls are married off as child brides, and every day 830 women die in childbirth, or from preventable pregnancy-related complications or unsafe abortions. “We are deeply concerned that the right to make informed decisions over one’s own body is under threat in many countries” the ministers say, adding they will highlight this “unfinished business” at an upcoming summit in Nairobi being co-hosted by the United Nations, Kenya and Denmark.

Monday morning weather

It’s another very cold start across Lapland this morning, with temperatures starting the week around -23°C in some areas. Temperatures remain below freezing further south but warm up considerably to -4°C in Oulu, -3°C in Jyväskylä and -4°C in Vaasa. Temperatures down the eastern border as as high as +5°C this morning with rain in the forecast. It’s overcast and cloudy too in the capital city region hovering around freezing, and in Turku and the south west where temperatures are a few degrees above zero on Monday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 11th November 2019 / Credit: FMI