Strike to close banks on Monday
Three-day stoppage should not affect ATMs or online services, but customers warned of possible disturbances
Finnish banks will close their doors for three days next Monday.
On Wednesday SUORA, a trade union representing Finnish financial workers, unanimously turned down a proposal for a two-year agreement submitted by national conciliator Esa Lonka. The negotiations are to be resumed no sooner than on Monday.
A three-day strike is to begin on December 14th, involving banks, finance houses, as well as Luottokunta, a full-service card payment company, and Automatia, a company offering ATM services in Finland.
Lonka’s proposal offered an immediate 0.69 % general salary increase and a further 1.0 % sum from the beginning of June. The cost impact would have been higher than the 0.5 % pay increase ceiling set by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).
”The offer was not sufficient”, said Riitta Suonpää, the vice-chair of SUORA. ”We deserve our share of the banks’ good results”, she added.
The Federation of Finnish Financial Services (FKL) that represents the employer in the bargaining negotiations was ready to accept the offer.
”The settlement proposal submitted by the national conciliator was sufficient”, said Heikki Vitie, the Chair of FKL’s Labour Market Board, with some disappointment.
The Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN) submitted no response to Lonka’s proposal, as the larger trade union SUORA had already rejected the offer.
A total of some 29,000 workers in the financial sector will be involved in the upcoming strike.
Banking services available during strike
Most branch offices have to be closed during the strike and the availability of electronic services varies from bank to bank. Payment instructions given in a payment service envelope are not processed.
Cash is available from ATMs, but if failures occur, they will not be fixed.
Cards can be used for paying for shopping. Verification of sufficient funds may fail and affect particularly Visa Electron payments.
Online banking services. Banks make efforts to ensure that all payment instructions fed into the system in advance are executed at the due date, if there are sufficient funds in the customer’s account. Failures may occur.
All salaries, pensions, and social support payments are deposited into customers’ accounts as usual.
Direct debit payments. Payments due under the direct debit service are debited to account at the due date as far as possible.
Federation of Finnish Financial Services press release 9.12.2009
Trade Union SUORA
The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK)