“The strikes will end immediately. We have agreed that the return to work will take place as soon as possible, but no later than Monday morning on the first shift”, he stated for the broadcasting company in the dying minutes of the day.
Kokko described the end result as a reasonable compromise from the drivers’ point of view, where the wage increases correspond to the wages made in other industries. The collective agreement entered into force immediately and will last until January 2025.
– There will be a total of four increases, and the sum of the increases is about six percent, he told the public broadcasting company. “Compromises are needed from time to time, and we have to stand behind our own agreements.”
AKT sought not only a significant wage increase, but also regulations that would lighten the burden of drivers’ working days, a demand the trade union of approximately 45,000 members had to compromise in the end. It has been reported, for example, that drivers avoid drinking water due to poor access to toilet breaks.
“We are also introducing a local negotiation system, which allows shop stewards to reduce time [employees] are obliged to act. This is a step forward,” Kokko said.
Mari VasarainenALT CEO, was pleased that the agreement ended the strikes.
“The solution was not easy for us, because the financial situation of bus companies is very challenging after the coronavirus years. Our board decided to bear responsibility in the current labor market situation regarding these contracts and accepted the general line of the negotiation results, he told YLE.
“I am especially happy that together with AKT we found tools with which we can develop the sector and improve the work well-being of bus drivers and thereby increase the attraction and retention factors of the sector.”
The bus drivers’ strike affected both local and long-distance bus traffic in various parts of Finland from Wednesday, March 1. For example, the bus companies that participated in the strike in the capital region were responsible for 90 percent of the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) routes.
HSL on Saturday stated that bus traffic should be fully restored by Monday.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page