The Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) believes that as state-owned energy group Eesti Energia is profitable, it should raise the wages of its employees without cutting back on benefits.
"The Estonian Trade Union Confederation does not approve of the situation where Eesti Energia earns a record profit but simultaneously tries to minimalize the rights of employees which had previously been guaranteed by a collective pay agreement," said the trade unions. "Even though the state-owned company Eesti Energia earned a record net profit of €171 million in 2016, the company is still trying to cut back at the expense of its employees."
The Association of Estonian Energy Workers' Trade Unions (AEEWTU) is organizing a demonstration at the Ministry of Finance building in Tallinn on Tuesday in support of the employees of the subsidiaries of Eesti Energia.
"Today's demonstration will not be against Eesti Energia but in support of its employees," EAKL chairman Peep Peterson said. "Eesti Energia should not forget that the employees are the ones whose dedicated work has earned the company a profit and without its employees, there would be no Eesti Energia."
According to Peterson, all points in the collective pay agreement are the result of years of negotiations and the loss of these points would affect the motivation of the employees, which would directly influence the productivity of the company.
"Eesti Energia wants to minimize the terms stated in the collective pay agreement," he noted. "I sincerely hope that the employer realizes that this is not a reasonable offer. We must quickly find a solution to this situation."
Eesti Energia wants to stop paying additional remuneration to its employees and reduce different additional bonuses, and to compensate for these changes by raising the basic salary.
The energy group's employees are seeking a 6 percent wage increase on the condition that they retain additional holidays and additional remuneration when working evenings, nights and holidays.
Editor: Aili Vahtla