World News

Finnish minister resigns in postal strike fallout

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The minister in charge of Finland’s state postal service, Sirpa Paatero, quit on Friday over her poor handling of a labour dispute that mushroomed into multiple strikes, the prime minister said.

Thousands of workers at Posti went on strike for more than two weeks, with solidarity action spreading to other sectors including aviation, over the weakening of 700 employees’ terms, until the dispute was resolved on Wednesday. [L8N28724S]

Prime Minister Antti Rinne said local government minister Paatero, 55, had decided by herself to resign, but he was dissatisfied with her handling of the Posti saga.

“Posti has acted against the state owner’s will,” he said, adding that the company’s management would be assessed later.

“I do not approve any weakening of employment terms.”

Rinne’s centre-left government, in power since June, has been more sympathetic to labour concerns than Finland’s previous centre-right government. Rinne himself is a former union leader.

There was no immediate comment from Paatero.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Anne Kauranen; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne