Municipal strikes began on Tuesday in cities across the country and affected about 81,000 workers.
Helsingin Sanomat wrote that kindergartens, schools, libraries, food services, sports halls and other municipal services are affected by the strike in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Tampere and Turku.
HS wrote that the most important requirement for employees is a general pay rise of at least 2 percent. Jukon’s chair Olli Luukkainen told HS about the inequalities between municipalities and public sector employees of the state and the Lutheran Church.
Employees in these sectors have already agreed on collective agreements concerning their pay and working conditions for the next two years, in accordance with Finnish general practice.
"It is well known that we are now at 2%. The state and the church agreed on a general 2 percent increase without a strike, and now the employer is not ready for it on the municipal side," he told HS.
The strike involves numerous trade unions, including the Public Sector Trade Union Confederation (Juko), Akava, the Public Sector Confederation (JAU) and the Transport Association JHL.
In addition to the 2 percent pay increase, some unions claim additional increases in their respective fields in addition to those negotiated annually, with carers wanting a 3.6 percent increase annually for five years and JHL has demanded an additional 4.7 percent increase.
In addition, Helsinki’s municipal construction services company Stara will have to influence and suspend many of its projects in the city, which will further delay the spring cleaning of the streets.
The strike is expected to last until Monday, May 9, unless an agreement is reached before then.
Marin goes to Meseberg
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz invited the Prime Ministers of Finland and Sweden to a retreat on Tuesday to Schloss Meseberg near Berlin, wrote Iltalehti.
According to Iltalehti, the trip to Germany offers the prime ministers Sanna Marin (SDP) and Magdalena Andersson a forum for open and strategic dialogue with Scholz and other German government officials on possible NATO membership and the long-term situation with Russia.
Schloss Meseberg is an important symbol for diplomatic missions in Germany, similar to Camp David in the United States, and serves as a refuge for the German Chancellor and the official guesthouse of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Iltalehti wrote that Finland’s message to Germany is that this is a long-term change without retreat, even if the conflict in Ukraine ends.
Germany wants to send a message to the outside world, mainly Russia, that it will support its Nordic partners in the final stages of NATO membership, the IL wrote.
Marin has conducted diplomatic tours over the past two months and met 11 face-to-face with various foreign leaders in March and April.
The retreat to Schloss Meseberg will not be long for Marin, as he will travel to Copenhagen to meet with other Nordic prime ministers for a summit with the Prime Minister of India. Narendra Modi.
In addition to the meeting with the German Chancellor, Marin will talk to his Swedish counterpart about the political situation in Finland. Iltalehti wrote that Sweden’s NATO membership debate will lag behind Finland, and their security policy report will be completed on 13 May. As a reference, the Finnish security investigation was completed on 13 April.
Former British Finland-NATO chief diplomat, “Full protection overnight”
Former British Foreign Secretary William Haguen opinion writing in Times drew attention Evening Newsin which it was stated that he demanded that Finland receive "full protection at night if it joins NATO."
The Hague’s comments came in the light of the Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) stated that Finland’s official accession to NATO could take four months to a year, even if the procedures were speeded up.
"This requires the political will and legal ingenuity to extend the full protection of Article 5 – mutual defense – literally overnight to Finland and Sweden, with a clear declaration signed in all Allied capitals, followed by a ratification process in record time." The Hague wrote.
His article argues that it is necessary to extend protection to Finland and Sweden as soon as possible, highlighting, for example, the accession of northern Macedonia and Montenegro in 2016.
IS wrote that Russia is believed to have been behind Montenegro’s 2016 coup attempt to overthrow the country’s pro-Western government and derail its accession to NATO.
"[If] Putin was angry at such small additions, Imagine how he will feel later this month when both Finland and Sweden are expected to apply for an alliance." Hague added.
Hague also described the benefits of joining the union of Finland and Sweden in favor of organizations in almost 30 member countries.
"Their accession would be a major geostrategic event that would increase NATO’s modern air force, in Finland’s case large reserves of trained personnel, double the land border between NATO and Russia and significantly enhance the defense of the Baltic states." The Hague argued.
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Source: The Nordic Page