TALLINN - Spurred by the opening of the Finnish labor market to new EU member countries as of this May, Estonian and Finnish trade union confederations signed a cooperation agreement in Tallinn. EAKL, the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions, said that the agreement would help EAKL intensify contacts on both parties' common interests.
EAKL chairman Harri Taliga said that, in addition to defending the interests of Estonians working in Finland, Finnish trade unions had major interests also in Estonia.
"It is important for Finnish companies established in Estonia to treat workers in Estonia according to the same principles as they do in Finland. The interest of the trade union is not only in that Estonians shouldn't be regarded as second-class labor in Finland, but that Finnish companies wouldn't see them as second-class workers in Estonia," Taliga said.
"They do not want Finnish companies coming to Estonia because of workers who have no skills or ability to stand up for their interests," the chairman added.
Taliga said the Finnish trade unions thus did not only defend their jobs in Finland but wanted to ensure that internationally recognized standards would apply everywhere.