Bus Drivers Hold Warning Strike ({{commentsTotal}})

Bus drivers employed by GoBus and Tarbus staged a warning strike this morning in several Estonian regions, demanding a pay raise.

The drivers servicing the routes in Tartu country announced their demand for a monthly salary of no less than 930 euros before the latest state procurement in spring 2014. At present the employer's offer stands at 750 euros, reported ETV.

Jaan-Hendrik Toomel, the president of Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union, said that despite the fact that there was an agreement among the drivers about the salary before the last procurement, it has now turned out that the winning service provider nevertheless made the city an offer that gave a lower estimation of labor costs. This now leaves it unable to pay its employees what they demand.

In Tartu, the warning strike started at 6:00 and lasted for an hour. All regional departures from Tartu and Elva bus stations were delayed by 15 minutes.

The drivers working in the city of Pärnu and in Saare county demand a salary of 800 euros per month from the beginning of next year, and a further 50-euro rise in July 2015.

In Saaremaa, the strike began at 6:25 and in Pärnu at 9:00. In the latter, inner city routes were not operational for an hour.

Aare Kübarsepp, Regional Officer at the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union, said everything has gone according to plan, and the objective of the strike is to procure a rise in monthly salaries.

"We demand that the employers start taking employees' demands in regard to pay seriously at the nation-wide level," he said.