Steelworkers protest against
wage dumping concerning
Polish construction workers
Helsinki (05.08.2011 - Juhani Artto) Over one thousand employees at the
Rautaruukki steel plant in Raahe join in the two-day strike action
that began on Thursday morning. The employees seek to demonstrate their
with the Polish workers who have been repairing a blast furnace at the
plant since June.
The Polish workers are victims of wage dumping, the Finnish Construction
Union claims. The masons should be paid at least EUR15.54 per hour but their
wage is EUR4 per hour or even less. This became apparent last week when
authorities inspected the plant. In addition, the eleven-hour work days
without days of rest - that these Polish workers are expected to do - is a
serious breach of the legislation governing working hours.
The German company Beroa, which is subcontracted to undertake the repair
work, has committed
itself to full compliance with the collective agreement, applicable to the
Polish workers are performing, but in practise the company has chosen to
ignore the agreement in a flagrant manner. The strikers are prepared to
return to their workplace prior to Saturday
morning if the working conditions of the Polish workers are settled
The steel company Rautaruukki has condemned the strike action as illegal.
Timo Mäkinen, the deputy shop steward of Rautaruukki's workers is of
different opinion. "The strike action is not against the employer and the
strikers are not demanding changes in their working conditions. This is
purely a protest against Beroa, not Rautaruukki, and in support of the
Polish workers", he insists at the leftist net publication Kansan Uutiset.
In Finland, solidarity
strikes that do not demand changes
to the prevailing collective
agreement, are legal.