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Strike notice of the Transport Workers' Union (November 16th 2004)

On 9th November industrial action was initiated in the Helsinki metropolitan area, and it includes ca. 1,300 Concordia, Connex Espoo and Connex Vantaa bus drivers. On Thursday 11th November AKT board decided to extend the local traffic’s industrial action. As a result the local traffic of Jyväskylän Liikenne, Kuopion Liikenne, Koskilinjat and Porin Linjat was brought to a standstill on the morning of Friday 12th November. Since even this was not enough to engage the employer in negotiations, a decision was made to extend the industrial action to include the Port of Helsinki and ADR-Haanpää tanker trucks from the morning of Wednesday 17th November 6 am onwards.
 
What is the industrial action all about?
 
Autoliikenteen Työnantajaliitto ALT (Employers’ Confederation of Road Transport) made the Helsinki metropolitan area’s bus traffic a test ground where the aim is to force through the use of atypical employment in the entire country’s bus traffic.
 
The employer is trying to break the bus drivers’ salary guarantee and change the employment into part-time work which is against the collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement for bus drivers notes that the number of part time employees is restricted to one per branch. Only the last employee for whom the company cannot offer full-time work can be part-time. Now, however, the employer has ruthlessly increased the number of part-time drivers, simultaneously trampling the full-time drivers’ right to work.
 
AKT is not a bystander when attempts are made to scrap the salary guarantee system which was settled in 1995. The employer is trying to destroy the sector’s generally binding collective bargaining agreement. AKT’s opinion is that every employee has the right to get a living and provide for themselves and their family on their salary. This also applies to AKT’s other contract sectors; on all of these sectors there is a real threat of splitting work and making it part-time.
 
What does the extension of the industrial action mean?
 
It was necessary to extend the industrial action because the employer still stubbornly refuses to engage in negotiations. The employer does not care at all that the passengers suffer in this situation.  You always need at least two contracting parties. AKT did not have any other option but to try and create extra pressure to raise the employer’s desire to negotiate. On the morning of Wednesday 17th November at 6 am the stevedores in the Port of Helsinki and the drivers of ADR-Haanpää will join the sympathy strike. In practice this will put a stop to the activities in Sompasaari and Länsisatama and a large part of industry’s chemical transportations.