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Seamen's union takes dispute with Transiidikeskus to public conciliator

A cargo ship being loaded at the Port of Muuga.
A cargo ship being loaded at the Port of Muuga. Source: Transiidikeskuse AS

The Estonian Seamen's Independent Union (EMSA) has turned to the Public Conciliator with a request to mediate in a collective employment relationship dispute with transit operator Transiidikeskuse AS in connection with the dismissed employee representative Sergei Mastepan.

According to the union, Transiidikeskuse AS was not fulfilling the decisions of the court in connection to allowing Mastepan, the elected employee representative, to return to his job.

"This company has obvious difficulties understanding the nature of the contemporary employment relationship and respecting the rights of employees," EMSA chairman Jüri Lember said. "Currently, we are trying to bring in the institution of public conciliator in order to have an impartial mediator to help restore normal social dialogue."

At the beginning of the year, the Supreme Court of Estonia left in force the ruling of a second-tier court according to which Transiidikeskuse AS unlawfully fired EMSA employee representative Sergei Mastepan.

As the Supreme Court rejected Transiidikeskus' appeal, the Oct. 31, 2016 ruling by Tallinn Circuit Court took effect, which deemed the dismissal of the representative unlawful and required that he be reinstated in his position as well as compensated for lost wages.

According to Transiidikeskus, Mastepan's dismissal was unrelated to his status in the trade union and due instead to disciplinary breaches. The court found, however, that none of the breaches listed by the company, on the basis of which the labor relationship with Mastepan was terminated, were such that would allow Mastepan to be viewed as a chronic offender against his employment duties or a dangerous employee.

"The accusations of Transiidikeskus are rather far-fetched and the court considers the employer's wish to get rid of the employee representative to be the real reason for dismissal," the court stated in its decision.

Relations between the union and Transiidikeskus first soured in the fall of 2015, and both sides have since taken legal action against one another.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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