Construction strike across Finland to ‘cost €30m a day’

A strike has begun in the Finnish construction industry after negotiations to resolve a pay dispute broke down on Wednesday.

The strike will affect seven Finnish concrete-related firms and their subsidiaries, and it will take the form of a rolling programme of two-day work stoppages and an overtime ban over a four-week period.

The companies affected produce nearly two-thirds of Finland’s ready-mixed concrete. They are: Betonimestarit, Betset, Parma, Rajaville, Parmarail, Rudus and Ruskon.

Union and employers will continue talks while the strikes take place.

Rakennusliitto, the country’s construction union, says the effects of the strike will be far-reaching, as delayed deliveries of concrete causes a chain reaction through project schedules. Industrial action will cost the sector some €30m a day, according to the union.

It adds that "if negotiations do not progress" it will "escalate" its actions.

The two sides remain far apart on pay, with employers offering a pay rise of 3.2% with unions demanding 6% over two years.

The unions are also protesting against the removal of Sunday allowances and the full "liberalisation" of temporary work.

Image: Workers on a site in Helsinki (Jacobs)

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