Union reopens collective talks with Nordea
According to the Union of Estonian Financial Sector's Employees (EFL), relations between the management and trade union of Nordea Estonia have improved unexpectedly quickly and there is hope that the Estonian banking sector's first collective agreement will be signed soon.
"A very rapid positive development has occurred at Nordea," EFL Vice-Chairman and advisor to Nordea's union Tanel Erik Podar told BNS. As recently as this May, Podar had said that relations had not improved since the departure of former union representative Hannes Veskimäe. The union then accused the bank management of blocking the concluding of a collective agreement, thus breaching the country's Trade Unions Act.
The involved parties are now willing to put the negative past behind them and move forward, said Podar. "Namely, Nordea currently has the largest, most successful and strongest union in Estonia's financial sector, with very down-to-earth representatives and a clear-cut action plan," he explained.
In June, three longtime Nordea employees, Tiina Kukk, Tarmo Kase and Taago Pähkel, assumed the duties of union representatives. Since then, the proportion of union members has risen to 56 percent of the bank's workforce, noted Podar. According to the advisor, he three new representatives reopened the collective bargaining process and the first round of talks took place on July 25.
Nonetheless, EFL and its Scandinavian sister unions are following the progress and pace of the Nordea talks very closely. "We assume that the collective agreement will make rapid progress, especially given the fact that the employees' wishes are reasonable," added Podar.