Nordic Unions Invest Into Developing Local Influence
Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix
After an unprecedented strike in March put unions back on the radar, transport unions have received a windfall from their Swedish and Finnish counterparts.
Two of the largest trade unions in the country have signed a memorandum with the Nordic Transport Workers' Federation on modernization and increasing their influence.
The transport employees of the Nordic countries and several other organizations will invest over 120,000 euros into Estonia to implement new operating methods and recruit at least 1,000 new union members in fields related to transport.
The secretary general of the Nordic Transport Workers' Federation, Peter Lövkvist, said the three-year agreement would bring modern organizing tools and "some of the best advisors" to Estonia.
Under the agreement, the Nordic organizations will also fund one position in both the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union and and the Railway Workers Trade Union devoted to integrating new subsections and companies with the organized labor movement.
As a whole, 8 percent of the workforce are union members, but in the transport sector the figure is 22 percent. And in marine industries and bus and railway transport, half of all workers are union, but there are subsections that are not unionized at all, according to the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Union.