It has been announced that work stoppages will take place throughout the day next week.
The Electric Union has declared its intention to instigate a political work stoppage at nuclear and hydropower plants next week. This action is part of a broader campaign against what the union believes to be unjust practices within the industry.
According to the union’s press release, these work stoppages will be organized throughout the day from the 14th to the 16th of February. This move signifies a significant escalation in the union’s ongoing disagreement with the industry’s management.
The schedule for the work stoppage is as follows: on Wednesday, the action will take place at energy company Fortum Power and Heat’s Loviisan nuclear power plant. This will be followed by a stoppage on Thursday at TVO’s Olkiluodon nuclear power plant. Finally, on Friday, the work stoppage will affect all Kemijoki, Pohjolan Voima and Tornionlaakson Voima hydropower plants, as well as Fortum’s Oulujoen hydropower plants.
In the past, Sähköliitto has deliberately kept electricity production largely separate from its industrial action against the government, under a campaign named Painava syy. However, this latest move represents a significant departure from that stance.
Sähkösliito boasts a membership of 34,000 individuals. The trade union is a prominent member of SAK, the central organization of Finnish trade unions.
Sauli Väntti, Chairman of the Swedish Electrical Union, has told the news agency STT that approximately 500 members of Sähköliitto, who are employed in production, service and maintenance roles at the affected plants, will participate in the strikes.
The trustee of the Electricity companies, Energiateollisuus, has expressed strong condemnation of the planned strike. Energiateollisuus has described the strikes as irresponsible, warning that they could put energy sufficiency at risk. The energy industry has labeled the strike as “irresponsible roulette with electricity sufficiency and price”.
Energiateollisuus has also voiced concerns about the unpredictable price effects of the strike, which will depend on several factors, including wind, frost, consumption, and other production elements.
In a statement, Energy Industry Labor Market Director Timo Yli-Koivisto has criticized Sähköliito’s actions as “completely irresponsible and unprecedented”. He has also expressed concern that the government’s current working life reforms seem insufficient when a strike is targeted at such a critical societal function.
In contrast, Sähköliitto Vänti has reassured the public that next week’s strikes will not result in a reduction in the power plants’ electricity production.
Väntti has clarified to STT that the strikes will only affect production if there are breakdowns in the plants during the strikes. This suggests that the union’s action is intended to be symbolic, rather than causing direct disruption to the supply of electricity.