Public conciliator Meelis Virkebau has offered a proposal for solving the wage dispute between the management and employees of listed Finnish food group HKScan's Rakvere Meat Processing Plant, and is awaiting the responses of the two parties by Dec. 5, regional paper Virumaa Teataja reported.
Virkebau said that while it has been agreed that the exact numbers will not be publicly discussed before the responses are received, the proposal is for an increase of less than 50 percent in the basic wage, and for no increase to happen before the end of the year.
Should the two parties refuse to accept the proposal, the conciliator will consider ending the conciliation procedure, which would give the employees the right to take industrial action.
The conciliator also proposed that the management of the Rakvere plant conclude a collective agreement in order to improve employment relationships, the movement of information within the company as well as the training of middle management.
Employees at the slaughterhouse of the Rakvere plant initially demanded a 100-percent increase in the basic wage, and later cut back their demand to 50 percent.
Raili Karjane, counselor at the Estonian Industrial and Metalworkers Union to which employees of the Rakvere plant belong, said that employees of the slaughterhouse at the Rakvere plant are currently paid about €750 per month net, including extras. A 50 percent increase in the basic wage would raise the employees' net monthly income to €1,100-1,200 per month in 2018. This includes the effect of the rise in the basic exemption to €500 per month next year, she added.
The labor dispute at Rakvere Meat Processing Plant began on Oct. 17, when 27 slaughterhouse employees staged an illegal strike, resulting in the dismissal of three employees. The employees said they were protesting against poor working conditions as well as the stagnation of wages, which have not been raised for the past ten years.
The workers then referred the dispute to the public conciliator.
Editor: Aili Vahtla