Paper and board manufacturers in Finland can breathe a sigh of relief: the strikes at Finnish ports have come to an end.
The port operators' industrial action, which started on 15 February and was due to last until further notice, ended yesterday afternoon, according to a news release of the Finnish Transport Workers' Union (AKT). Finnish ports will now gradually return to normal operations.
The AKT and port operators in Finland agreed on a new collective agreement for the stevedoring sector. The outcome of the negotiations between the two parties, which ended on 1 March, was discussed both in the relevant trade union department and in the AKT board and was then unanimously adopted, AKT informs.
The deal for the stevedoring sector includes pay increases of 6.3 per cent, AKT says. In addition, a one-off payment of €1,100 was reportedly agreed on. The term of the new collective agreement is 25 months, ending on 28 February 2025.
"At AKT, we welcome both the collective agreement reached and the end of the labour dispute. It was a difficult round of negotiations, as an extraordinary number of external factors were involved in the talks," said Ismo Kokko, President of AKT.
The stevedores' strike started on 15 February and paralysed work in the vast majority of Finnish ports, bringing a large part of the country's goods exports and imports to a standstill, This also affected trade with pulp, paper and board. For Finland, the sea route is the only important way to the markets. According to Finnish media reports, around 90 per cent of Finnish exports go through domestic ports.