Estonian minister to not appoint union reps to supervisory boards of state-held companies
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson has said that Estonia will not appoint representatives of trade unions to the supervisory boards of state-owned companies because the government coalition has agreed on the establishment of a committee for the appointment of supervisory board members.
"On Dec. 22, the government endorsed the action plan of the Government of the Republic for 2016-2019, which calls for the establishment of an independent committee for the appointment of members of supervisory boards," Simson said in her response to a letter from the railway union in which the union proposed that representatives thereof be appointed to the supervisory boards of state-held railway companies Estonian Railways, EVR Cargo and Eesti Liinirongid.
"The committee will be tasked with ensuring the appointment of competent people with relevant managerial experience to the supervisory boards of state-invested companies," Simson said.
"At state-owned companies, there is well-functioning day-to-day social dialogue and exchange of information with the employer, regular negotiations on the collective agreement and other cooperation formats which unfortunately do not exist at most Estonian enterprises," the minister noted. "I am convinced that the management boards and trade unions of state-owned companies are good partners to each other and the interests of both the employees and the state are best protected within the framework of continued social dialogue and cooperation."
Oleg Tsubarov, chairman of the railway union, said in a letter sent to the ministry in November that having representatives of unions on the supervisory boards of state-held companies would reduce tensions and misunderstandings in the relations between employer and employees resulting from insufficient information.
Tsubarov said that the presence of employee representatives on the supervisory boards of companies has been written into the law in several EU member states and the inclusion of workers has provided an altogether positive effect.