Estonian trade unions: Travel bubble with neighboring countries must be kept open

  • 2020-09-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian Trade Union Confederation said that the best way to support the tourism sector is to keep the Baltics-Finland-Sweden travel bubble open.

Peep Peterson, head of the Trade Union Confederation, said that trade unions are also seeking a new round of wage compensation, but this time, it should be more specifically targeted at critical sectors. "In addition, we are offering additional benefits to those made redundant in order to maintain their loyalty and union membership," Peterson said in a press release.

Chairman of the Estonian Seamen's Independent Union (EMSA) Juri Lember said that the recommendation of both Estonian and Finnish politicians not to travel led to a drastic reduction in the number of passengers. "A complete no-travel recommendation should not apply to countries inside the bubble," Lember said.

"Due to the seriousness of the situation, it may happen that soon, for the second time this year, Tallink's passenger ships will no longer have anyone to serve, and therefore the employer has informed the trade union about possible additional redundancies on ships," Lember added.

According to Lember, the trade unions have thoroughly discussed the issue and consider that it is essential to find a reasonable solution preventing a crisis situation for the entire Estonian tourism sector together with the state and the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

In the event that the flow of passengers to Finland ceases, Lember believes that support measures to protect jobs should be extended at least until the spring.