Union's Frustration With Tallink Boils Over Into One-Hour Mini-Strike ({{commentsTotal}})

The Estonian Seamen's Independent Union (EMSA) has announced an hour-long warning strike on Tallink's ships over what it says is irresponsible treatment of employees during talks on salaries.

"EMSA is demanding a fair wage for crew members working on Estonian-flagged vessels. Today the lowest salary rate is 667 euros, which can be further reduced by 10 percent during probationary period. EMSA is demanding that basic monthly salaries grow at least 15 percent," a press release from the union reads.

EMSA said the employees' demands could be met by reducing profit margin. The statement from the union also mentions that world fuel prices have stabilized and are even declining.

"The demand of the employees will not significantly reduce the company's competitiveness but will improve it, increasing motivation and service culture, and ensuring higher maritime safety."

The warning strike is planned for January 13 from13:30 to 14:30, a time when more ships will be in port.

The negotiations between the union and Tallink have been ongoing since September 2013. The union charges that Tallink has made offers that equate to only half of the average wage growth in Estonia in the last year - a 38-euro raise on a 707-euro basic salary.

The union has 2,000 members, of whom 1,400 work on Tallink's ships.