Strikes could freeze shipping in Finland.
ICEBREAKER crews in Finland are threatening strike action unless a new collective agreement is agreed before March 4.
Members of the Finnish Seaman"s Union said its members working on icebreakers, multipurpose vessels and on the country"s archipelago ferries would stop work if issues with state-owned Arctia Shipping are not resolved.
A spokesperson for the union said that pay talks for stewards and galley staff with Arctia Shipping, which was known as Finstaship until December last year, have reached deadlock.
Icebreakers from Finland and Sweden have been kept busy due a colder winter than in recent years, with sub-zero temperatures for a number of weeks.
Strike action could seriously impact shipping in the Baltic, with Swedish icebreakers being asked to assist if needed.
The strike threat also comes as the country"s port workers threaten industrial action over the terms of redundancy under a new collective agreement.
On Monday the Finnish minister for economic affairs exercised the government"s right to postpone the strike by a fortnight.
The strike, which is also scheduled now for March 4, could bring the majority of the country"s ports to a halt.