The Finnish Transport Workers’ Union (AKT), with its 45,000 members, started to strike on 15 February over wage levels and working conditions and has not yet reached an agreement.

Negotiations were supposed to resume on 1 March but have stalled.

All vessel operations at the Finnish ports involving gate moves and handling of containers within terminals are suspended. Other areas of the transport sector within Finland have also been affected.

AKT posted an update on its website on 1 March to say a settlement proposal for bus staff and maintenance workshops was rejected. The strikes for these workers have begun, and if no settlement is reached, they will end on 10 March, however, there are warnings that there could be new periods of strikes for these sectors later this month.

A settlement proposal was accepted on 28 February for three road transport sectors: the truck, tank and oil product and terminal operations.

90% of Finnish foreign goods trade are processed at ports, the Stevedoring strike has also effectively halted foreign trade.

Currently, there have been no reports from pulp or paper mills that there has been any disruption to operations because of the strikes so far, however, this could change depending on the length of strike actions.

UPM, which saw strikes at its own Finnish mills last for over 100 days last year, has reported that the transport strikes could impact its ability to deliver pulp produced at its Finnish mills.

They have also implemented steps to reduce any subsequent impact by increasing storage capacity outside of the ports and raising inventory levels outside of Finland.