Shops | The warehouse strike would quickly appear on store shelves: “I’m referring to these corona-era toilet paper episodes”

Negotiations between Pami and the Trade Union continue this week. If no agreement is reached, Finns can see the effects of the strikes quickly.

Service industries the trade union (Pam) and the Trade Union continue their collective agreement and salary negotiations this week. Pam has warned that if an agreement is not reached, the trade sector is threatened with widespread strikes.

First of all, the strikes concern stores’ warehouses. If no agreement is found in the labor dispute, next Monday work will be suspended in 25 warehouses around Finland.

Read more: Stores are threatened by a series of strikes: HS compiled which stores would be affected by the strikes

The strike practically applies to all the most important central warehouses of grocery stores in Finland. The most important logistics centers of the S group, Kesko, Lidl and Tokmann are included.

For example, 1,000 trucks pass through the grocery center of Inex Partners, a logistics and transport company of the S group that is part of the strike, a day. Hundreds of trucks also pass through Kesko’s central warehouse in Vantaa every day.

In addition, Tokmanni’s logistics center in Mäntsälä and Lidl’s distribution centers in Janakkala and Laukaa are also affected by the strike.

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The first warehouse strikes are expected to last from next Monday to Thursday. 13.–16. of the wider strike. in February, 47 warehouses are targeted.

Warehouses during the strike, the stores themselves are not closing their doors, but the strike can start to show on store shelves quickly, because the transportation of food from warehouses to stores becomes more difficult.

Food stores do not have their own significant warehouses, but goods are constantly brought in from large central warehouses. The effects of the warehouse strike can therefore also be seen in stores that are not supposed to be affected by the strike.

“The strike will appear in the selection of all chains. The modern trade operation chain relies on central warehouses. The stores don’t have large warehouses, but more and more goods come from the warehouses all the time,” says Pami’s organization director Risto Kalliorinne for HS.

Kalliorinne estimates that the effects on store shelves are first seen in the availability of poorly preserved fresh products. Much depends on how customers react to the threat of a strike.

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“If some hoarding starts, the shelves will be empty before the strike starts. I’m referring to these corona-era toilet paper episodes. Consumer behavior can be a little unpredictable.”

According to Kalliorinte, assessing the effects is also difficult because there has not been a similar strike in the trade sector. The last time there was a strike in the trade sector was in 2010, but at that time the strike was shorter than the actions that are now threatening.

“The situation is unique. It tells about a very serious deadlock in the labor market situation, which we hope will be resolved”, says Kalliorinne.

“Our goal is not to go on strike, but to get wage increases that correct purchasing power,” he adds.

Pam and the Trade Union have continued negotiations under the leadership of the national conciliator on Wednesday. Mediation of the labor dispute will continue for the rest of the week in the afternoons.

“With strikes, we don’t want to annoy ordinary consumers or cause difficulties in the middle of everyday life. Labor struggles are not aimed at consumers, but only at employers, who have every opportunity to prevent strikes from happening,” says Pami’s chairman Annika Rönni-Sällinen in the union’s bulletin.

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Pam is trying to get a monthly salary increase of about 200 euros for employees in the trade sector.

Even next week, after the warehouse strikes, the strikes would move to the supermarkets and affect around 20,000 employees and more than 160 retail locations. Among them are K-Citymarkets and Prisms in big cities. The strike would also affect some smaller stores, such as S-markets. There are also a few warehouses.

Strikes in the trade sector would eventually expand to cover shops really widely. In mid-February, all K-Citymarkets, Prismat, Lidl stores, as well as dozens of Tokmanni stores and 14 Halpa-Halls would be covered by the strike.

Kesko’s logistics terminals in Tampere, Turku, Kuopio and Oulu would also join the strike at that time.

The employer side, the Trade Union, considers the strikes announced by Pami to be unreasonable.

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