Unions are being established at an increasing rate in Estonia, uudised.err.ee reported, with organizations founded last year in a number of white-collar sectors and service industries as well.
According to the annual report from the country's Trade Union Confederation, the hotel, logistics and financial sectors gained trade organizations last year. The new financial employees' union is not part of the Trade Union Confederation, which is the country's unions' main umbrella organization, but includes employees of all of the major banks as well as the Estonian-owned LHV, Bigbank and smaller companies.
New trade unions were also launched at a number of commercial companies. The Federation of Industrial Workers' Unions and the Federation of Metal Workers' Unions expanded their activities to the largest poultry producer Tallegg and the electrical equipment manufacturer Ensek.
The Customer Service and Commerce Workers' Union expanded to Maxima supermarkets as well as increased the breadth of its activity at the Prisma chain
Employees of Sokos Hotel Viru, Tallink and the Radisson hotel chain also joined the latter union, bringing the unionized number of chamber persons, bartenders and other service providers at these hotels to 200.
"We believe that the expanded activity will increase the credibility and competence of unions, and we also want to quell employers' fears - we can be effective partners and there's no reason at all for panic or ostracism," said Peep Peterson, head of the Trade Union Confederation.
Plans are under way to re-launch a construction workers' union in conjunction with Finland and to found an office workers' union.