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One food strike is averted; a bigger one is still pending, as is lockout from employers' side
The foodstuffs industry strike that was scheduled for today, Monday, has been cancelled. Last night saw the employer and employee sides accepting a mediation proposal by National Conciliator Esa Lonka.
The staff working in managerial and various specialist roles in food processing were awarded a two-year agreement. According to the employer side, the agreed salary increases are above the industry average.
Had it taken place, the planned three-day strike by the Union of Salaried Employees would have led to problems in the availability of certain grocery products. The walk-out would have affected ten large industrial enterprises.
The agreement that was hammered out covers the terms of employment and the salaries of the office staff within the food industry. The manual labour, on the other hand, are still without a collective agreement.
The Finnish Food Workers’ Union (SEL) has threatened to instigate industrial action starting on April 21st that would cover all the food industry sectors. The workers within the field already staged a more limited stoppage last week.
The Finnish Food and Drinks Industries Federation (ETL), representing the employers' side, retaliated yesterday by announcing a pending lockout.
The lockout will commence at every ETL member firm within the meat processing industry on April 26th, if an agreement has not been reached by then.
A lockout is the employer side’s equivalent to strike action on the employee front. A lockout effectively means putting a stop to production and to the payment of wages.