Strikers attempted to form a blockade at Kotka’s Mussalo port to prevent the loading of trucks. Managers for Multi-Link Terminals tried to break picket lines, while striking workers reacted angrily and attacked one car.
Around a hundred striking dock workers tried to barricade the gate into the port. One manager tried to drive his car through the throng of protesters. No one was injured, but angry protestors pounded the car and broke the windshield.
Police arrived at the scene and the port authority put more security officers on duty. The Transport Workers’ Union has distanced itself from the protests saying they were solely a matter for the local branch.
Multi-Link Terminals says it is planning to load as many Russian lorries as it can with cargo from the port. Many Russian truck drivers have run out of money while waiting for their cargo.
Kotka is not the only port trying to get some work done despite the debilitating strike. Management personnel have taken over some of the work, although there is very little they can accomplish without a full work force.
Ports in Tornio, Kokkola and Vuosaari have also turned to non-union workers, and the company Multi-Link Terminals has started recruiting on Facebook.
Sympathy Rail Action
The Railways Workers’ Union is to stage sympathy action in solidarity with the striking stevedores. Railway employees will prevent freight traffic to and from the ports of Hamina and Kotka.
The action, which starts on Friday morning, will be taken by 70 union members. Passenger traffic between Kouvola and Kotka will not be affected.