Estonian Air Pilots Turn to Public Conciliator in Wage Strife ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian Air CEO Jan Palmer
Estonian Air CEO Jan Palmer Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The state-owned airline is yet to agree on a new collective agreement with its pilots, although the previous contract expired in on February 1 and talks have waned.

CEO Jan Palmer told ERR radio today the central question in the negotiations is salary increases, with pilots asking for a 40 percent increase over the next three years at the beginning of negotiations in February.

Head of the Estonian Airline Pilots Association, Helen Reinhold, said the company only offered a 1 percent increase for the next three years, adding that for them, the main question is the organization of work and rest periods and system of promotions. Similar problems that plagued the negotiations at the end of 2012 when a strike was narrowly averted.

A new sore point is rehiring laid-off pilots. The association says those pilots dismissed last year should have been first in line for any new positions at Estonian Air.

Palmer said they did offer jobs through the association, but could not agree on terms and had to hire new pilots instead.

Public conciliator Henn Pärn will hear both sides before in the next few days before summoning a joint meeting.