Rail industry strike may stop train traffic on Monday
The strike of Railway Union Finland RAU will halt train traffic from Monday 20 March until further notice. If the strike takes place, VR will cancel all long-distance and commuter trains during the strike and refund the train tickets purchased for trips that would take place during the strike. Freight traffic trains will also be cancelled, with a few exceptions.
The train drivers' strike is linked to the current collective agreement negotiations. The strike would begin on Monday 20 March 2023 at 00:01 and continue until further notice, according to the strike warning issued by RAU. Should the strike begin, the passenger and freight trains departing on Sunday evening will be driven to their destinations, including the night trains between Sunday and Monday.
“Negotiations between Service Sector Employers PALTA and RAU will continue during the strike. We hope that an agreement can be reached and that the strike will be cancelled or at least ended earlier than planned. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this strike will cause our customers,” says Laura Ansaharju, Senior Vice President, HR.
The currently enforced ban on overtime and shift changes for train drivers may cause changes or cancellations in long-distance, commuter and freight train traffic even before the strike begins.
VR will refund the train tickets purchased for the duration of the strike, the tickets can also be changed without a change fee
VR will automatically refund the price of single tickets purchased for long-distance and commuter traffic during the strike within about a week. If you wish to change your tickets to another time, you can do without a change fee from Friday 17 March in the VR Matkalla app, on vr.fi or by calling our customer service. We encourage you to primarily use self-service channels, as our customer service can become congested.
VR will also reimburse customers for the reservation of seats for multi-tickets and extend the validity of season tickets for long-distance and commuter traffic by the number of strike days. These do not require any action from the users of the tickets.
If the train tickets have been purchased as paper tickets without logging in from a ticket vending machine or R-kioski, for example, the compensation cannot be performed automatically. In that case, you can apply for compensation for the tickets at https://www.vr.fi/en/claim-for-compensation, Opens in a new tab.
Once the strike is over, passenger service will return to normal after a small delay
After the strike has ended, train traffic may still be subject to changes and individual cancellations on the next day due to exceptional arrangements related to the start of the service.
You can check the status of your train in real time at https://www.vr.fi/en/train-traffic-at-the-moment, Opens in a new tab.
The possible strike in the cleaning sector may also be visible on individual trains from 16 March to 18 March. A three-day strike may have an impact on the operations of RTK which is responsible for cleaning trains.