New Strike Amendment a Source of Confusion for Unions
Last week, the Ministry of Social Affairs submitted an amendment to the collective agreements and labor disputes law that would prohibit workers from striking for the purpose of pressuring lawmaking bodies.
The amendment has created a fuss at the Trade Union Association, reported Postimees. The organization said the proposed change implies that workers need to be more careful when criticizing the government.
Union representatives also feared that public officials would no longer be permitted to petition for salary raises, but Social Minister Taavi Rõivas said that was not the case. The idea, he said, is that work disputes are between the employee and the employer, unless the government is itself the employer.
"Strikes are meant to be against the employer, say a bus or train company, and the government should not be pressured to make decisions that relate to an entirely different area," Rõivas said.