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Leader of Estonian Trade Union Confederation elected

Peep Peterson.
Peep Peterson. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Peep Peterson has been re-elected to lead the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL), his first major task is to find an agreement with employers on the minimum wage increase.

The Confederation of Trade Unions elected Peterson to continue as chairman at the VIII Congress on Friday. Peterson was the only candidate for leadership, ERR reports.

Peterson was nominated by the Healthcare Professional Association, the Transport Union, the Communications and Service Union, the Chemists' Union, the Miners' and Energy's Independent Trade Union, and the Railway Workers' Union.

Peep Peterson took over the leadership of the Confederation of Trade Unions in 2013.

Sander Vaikma of the Energy Workers' Union said that although things could always be done better, they were satisfied with Peterson's work, otherwise he would not have been re-elected.

Harri Taliga, chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions from 2003 to 2013, felt that other candidates were probably not nominated because of the lack of good leadership in the organization.

Although the decline in union membership has stopped in recent years, Peep Peterson has failed to meet the goal of doubling membership. The council also rejected Peterson's minimum wage agreement with employers.

Nevertheless, he was re-elected as spokesman for the trade unions. "Of course, fatigue builds up, but then you have to look deep into yourself to find the motivation and, for example, going to the minimum wage again, you can actually do it better," Peterson said.

According to Peterson, he hopes to focus on the internal organization of the Central Union in the next term.

"The Confederation can make for a frenzied atmosphere of cooperation, where the unions themselves may start to contribute more in their sectors, more boldly," he said.

But Peterson's first challenge is to reach a new deal with employers to raise next year's minimum wage. It is a long-term job to bring in the unions the people on whose behalf they are actually being negotiated.

"There are hardly any minimum wage earners in our membership. We are pretty well insured through collective agreements, but there are certainly a lot of people in society asking why you sign something on our behalf, we can't handle that money," said the Seafarers Independent Trade Union Chairman Jüri Lember.

"It is certainly one thing that the reputation of a trade union and its inevitable need in a market economy have not yet reached a person in Estonia, above all, a minimum wage. They are probably half-educated or simpler people. to attract.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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