Seamen's Union Joins Battle Against New Collective Agreement Law
Following the steps of the railway workers' union yesterday, the seamen's union has joined the opponents of a bill that would reform collective agreements, threatening to launch protests if Parliament does not consider the Trade Union Confederation's proposals.
"The new rules would intensify the impact of the crisis on workers and significantly decrease the inflow of workforce tax revenue to the state budget, increasing restlessness among workers and the desire to strike," said a statement from the union, which represents 2,000 seamen and port employees.
Last week, 39 trade unions from northeastern Estonia threatened a general strike if the amendment to the Collective Agreements Act is passed.
The act currently says that the terms of collective agreements must continue to apply even once the contract has expired, until a new agreement has been reached. In January, Parliament passed the new amendment onto its second reading, finding that the current law, theoretically allowing the collective agreement terms to be binding for an indefinite period of time, is unconstitutional. Opposition parties opposed the motion.