2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Estonia

The ITUC affiliate in Estonia is the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions (EAKL).

In practice

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Transiidikeskuse AS refuses to reinstate a shop steward30-10-2017

In October 2015, Transiidikeskuse AS, a stevedoring company, terminated the contract of a worker right after he was elected as shop steward shop steward A union worker who represents the members of a union in dealings with the employer. Often elected by union members who work in the same establishment. . The case was brought to the court which ruled on 29 June 2016 that the termination was wrongful. On the same day however his job was made redundant. On 30 October 2017, the court again declared that the grounds for his dismissal were not valid and therefore his termination was wrongful. The company did not reinstate him. Instead, the management barred him from entering the company’s premises while still paying him his wages. An application has been filed with the Labour Inspectorate to resolve the matter which was still pending at the time of writing. Transiidikeskuse AS still refuses to recognise the legally established trade union and rejects all attempts at negotiating a collective agreement.

Anti-union activities30-11-2009

The Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions (EAKL) reports that anti-union behaviour is rife in the private sector. In some enterprises, workers are advised against forming trade unions, threatened with dismissal or a reduction in wages, or promised benefits if they do not join unions. “Yellow unions” are sometimes formed.

Collective bargaining difficult30-04-2009

It is estimated that between 20 and 25% of the workforce is covered by collective agreements. Both public and private employers tend to be reluctant to engage in collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
and delay the process. The economic crisis made negotiations difficult, and even profitable companies demanded concessions or failed to honour agreements. For example, in May, shipping company Tallink stopped paying wage supplements provided for in the collective agreement, and only asked the trade union for new negotiations afterwards.

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