More than half of Finland's freight traffic was brought to a standstill on Tuesday 2 February by a wildcat strike by 1000 stevedores in seven ports.
The Swedish Wire reported:
"Seven ports have informed us that operations are at a standstill and workers have gone on an illegal strike," Juha Mutru, chief executive of the Finnish Port Operators Association, told AFP.
"Container traffic is more or less at a standstill, and more than half of Finland's freight traffic has ground to a halt," he said.
About half of all goods transported in and out of export-reliant Finland pass through the ports of Helsinki and Kotka, where employees are participating in the one-day strike, Mutru said.
Some 1,000 workers walked off the job Tuesday to "speed up labour negotiations," a spokeswoman for the transport workers' union said.
Following a breakdown of labour talks, the union on Monday set a deadline of February 19 to reach an agreement on a new collective labour contract.
It warned stevedores in all of Finland's 25 ports it would strike if no deal was reached by then.
In addition to Helsinki and Kotka, the ports affected by Tuesday's strikes include Turku, Uusikaupunki, Hanko, Kokkola and Naantali. Mutru said that the port of Rauma had announced a one-day strike for Wednesday.