Trade unions: strike rights too restricted in Estonia

Read: "Strike" Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
2/18/2015 3:32 PM
Category: Society

As part of a global initiative to fight against limiting striking rights, the heads of Estonia's trade unions have handed an open letter to Parliament Speaker Eiki Nestor, supporting the right to strike in Estonia and around the world.

Peep Peterson, the head of the Estonian Trade Union Confederation, said basic rights to strike are guaranteed in Estonia, but there have been a number of attempts to curb these rights.

“Our legislation on strikes is more limited than international laws. For example, an Estonian can protest on the question of the Finnish pension system in Finland, but cannot influence the Estonian pension system with a strike in Estonia,” he said, adding that there is no scheme to solve problems for workers and officials who are not allowed to strike.

Peterson said Estonian trade unions have so far used the right to strike in a sensible manner and have no plans to radicalize.

The letter is accompanied by a protest supporting the right to strike, held in front of the Parliament building today. Meetings will be held all around the country this week on the topic of legislation on holding strikes.

“Laws which touch worker relations do need to be updated,” Nestor told ERR, adding that the most logical step would be for representatives of employers and trade unions to sit down and agree on amendments.

J.M. Laats

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