Finland now has the youngest prime minister in the world, 34-year-old Sanna Marin who was catapulted into power when her predecessor, Antti Rinne, was forced to resign after a postal worker dispute escalated into a nationwide general strike.
At the end of August, the government proposed changes to the classification of around 700 workers in the postal service, known as Posti.
The proposal was to shift 700 Posti employees working in packaging and e-commerce shipping into a separate collective bargaining unit. That move would’ve cut their pay by 30 percent to 50 percent.
In response, the Postal and Logistics Union went on strike on November 11. Two weeks later, solidarity strikes from unions in other industries shut the nation down, as flights, ferries, and other services halted. Polling from the Finnish magazine Maaseudun Tulevaisuus also showed that around 60 percent of the general public sided with the workers — despite the disruption to their daily lives. UNI Global Union, an international umbrella for service sector unions, also supported the strikers.
Two days later, the postal workers reached an agreement with the government that protected their pay. But the public backlash to the bungled pay cut proposal was too much for the prime minister to overcome.
Rinne resigned on December 3.