Organizationally, AKT dates back to the early years of last century, as the Finnish Dockers’ Union was founded in October 1905. The initiative for founding a union for dockers came from several local union branches almost simultaneously in August 1905. The most explicit proposal was made by the dockers’ local union in Valko, Loviisa.
The constitutive meeting in October 16th-17th was attended by representatives of thirteen dockers’ organizations. The meeting took place at the then People’s Hall situated in Yrjönkatu, Helsinki.
First Strike in Finland
Organized cooperation of transport workers can be traced even further back in history. The first facts on Finnish dockers date back to 1491, e.i. more than 500 hundred years ago.
It was then that the haulers and carriers called a strike, because several merchants of the Hansa (Guild) from Leipzig refused to pay more than half an ore per last (an old Northern European measure of volume) for haulage involved in unshipping. The old rate was one ore. The conflict turned rather grave but in the end, the workers came off victorious, as the authorities did not want to change the haulage rate for the loss of the workers. This incident at the port of Turku is considered the first strike in Finland.
SAL founded in 1948
The birth of SAL, the Finnish Automotive Workers Union, was presided over on September 9th 1948. It was at this point that organized activity to protect transport workers’ interests began. Organized activity in road transport had occurred before this point, but not at the national level.
It was in the first years of the Union that the development of all the collective agreements –which still today constitute the principal agreement sector in AKT – began to break ground. However, the sector has, since the early years, extended considerably.
Current AKT formed in 1970
AKT in its current form was created in 1970. The representatives of the Automotive and Transport Union (1960) and the Finnish Dockers’ Union (1905) assembled in connection with the SAL Congress. The Conference led to a merger of all three Unions. The new union was named AKT, the Transport Workers Union.