Saturday June 10, 2023

Rail traffic to halt as RAU starts countrywide strike on Monday

Published : 19 Mar 2023, 21:02

Updated : 23 Mar 2023, 11:28

  DF Report
File Photo: VR by Janne Mikkila.

Rail communication will remain suspended across the country from early Monday as the Railway Union Association (Rautatiealan Unioni Ry-RAU) representing locomotive drivers decided to start a strike for an indefinite period.

The RAU took the decision following failure to realise its collective bargaining agreement despite repeated talks with Service Sector Employers' group- Palta, said RAU in a press release on Sunday.

National railway operator VR on Sunday in a press release said that rail communication will remain suspended from 00.01 am on Monday until further notice due to the strike called by the locomotive drivers.

The long distance trains that already departed before the strike, however, will reach to their destinations, said VR.

The VR already stooped to sell long distance tickets and will refund passengers whose journeys will be cancelled due to the strike.

"Negotiation talks will continue between Service Sector Employers Palta ry and RAU during the strike. We hope that an agreement will be reached soon,” said VR Human Resource Director Laura Ansaharju in a statement, expressing sorrow for the inconveniences due to the strike.

The National Conciliator's Office, which is mediating the dispute said that the two parties (Palta and RAU) still remained far away to find out a solution in this regard. The negotiation talks will continue early next week.

Earlier on March 14, the union warned to go for a strike from March 20 to March 31, if its demand for a collective bargaining agreement is not realized by this time.

The union is mainly demanding an agreement on working hours improvement and a better arrangement for parental leave.