Train drivers to stage nationwide strike in Finland

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-14 19:44:17|Editor: Liangyu
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HELSINKI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Train drivers of Finland are going to start a nationwide strike on Monday evening, which is expected to affect nearly 200,000 passengers daily.

The Locomotive Drivers Union of Finland has announced to organize a strike that will halt train services starting at 18:00 p.m. on Monday and will continue until 24:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Finnish state-owned railway company VR said that all passenger and freight train services will be suspended across the country due to the walkout, with the exception of Allegro and Tolstoi trains to Russia.

The strike is aiming to protest against the Finnish government's plan to open the railway transport sector to competition.

Last Wednesday, the government announced its decision to open passenger railway transport to competition. In this way, VR will no longer have exclusive right to the provision of railway transport services in the Finnish railway network in early 2020s.

The Locomotive Drivers Union said in a statement that they cannot accept the decision.

According to the Finnish news agency STT, the 30-hour strike will hit up to 200,000 passengers.

The Finnish Transport Agency warned on Monday morning that road traffic will be overloaded on Tuesday due to the strike. The authority advised people to avoid peak hours, to travel by bike, or take a remote work at home.