Bank staff to stage second strike in Finland
HELSINKI, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Banks will be closed again on Thursday and Friday in Finland, as the financial sector trade unions and the employer organizations could not reach an agreement in their talks this week.
State mediator Minna Helle told the media on Wednesday that the stands were too divergent for the talk to continue.
The central issue in the talk concerns weekend work. The employees argue that weekend work should be voluntary, while the employers want to have the right to enforce weekend work if there are no volunteers.
The trade unions earlier said they would start a second strike if the talk collapses.
The upcoming strike will follow a similar two-day stoppage last week, but may cause interruption to automated services that largely functioned last week. Technical support personnel is now supporting the strike and parts of the middle management as well.
The strike takes place against the backdrop that EU level payment service decrees are to take effect next year. The banks will then have to make the customers' bank accounts accessible to "third party payment instrument operators", if the customer so wishes. The situation is likely to increase competition in payment services and the banks want to secure the use of their services in all situations.
At the same time, traditional banking jobs are likely to decline as automation increases.