Finnish stevedores are set to walk off the job on March 4, joining striking truckers in a nationwide transport stoppage that threatens to bring industry to a halt and strangle the Nordic nation's foreign trade.
The dockworkers, who staged on 24 hour strike on Feb. 2 and are refusing to work overtime, are protesting the breakdown of contract negotiations with port employers.
The nationwide port strike, which is due to start at 6 a.m. Thursday, will halt the 80 percent of Finnish exports and 90 percent of imports which are shipped by sea, the Confederation of Finnish Industries said.
The strike will cost up to $220 million a day in lost sales, according to the employers' group.
The truckers’ strike, which began earlier in the week, has already impacted industrial output and halted the transport of export goods, including paper and pulp from factories to the ports.
UPM-Kymmene, Europe's second largest paper maker, warned it will be forced to shutter its Finnish mills within a week as it can't transport paper rolls and other products to the ports. The company said it will attempt to meet orders from its mills outside Finland.
A government appointed mediator is attempting to revive negotiations between employers and unions in a bid to end the disputes before factories start to close down.
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