Forced labor

Helsingin Sanomat reports (fi) that the government has been working on a law to lessen the effects of nurses' industrial action:

The aim of the bill under preparation is to secure urgent treatment necessary to keep patients alive. Excluded from the action would be activities such as emergency room treatment, intensive care units, and treatment of premature babies and support services such as laboratories and x-ray examinations.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health calculates that the bill would exclude no more than ten per cent of the 12,700 nurses who have signed up for the mass resignation campaign.

The law needs to be brought before the Parliament by Friday at the latest for it to come into force in time.

I wondered if something like this might happen, as the same reasoning that has led to the currently existing limits on industrial action also applies in this case. I didn't think the government would react so quickly, though. I'd have guessed the matter would be debated in the aftermath of the resignations, should deaths ensue.

Tehy, for its part, has been adamant that the resignations are a form of industrial action. It's probably necessary to lessen the risks normally associated with resigning from your job, but it also makes it plain that the resignations are a way to get around the preexisting restrictions on health care workers' right to strike.

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