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Bus strike averted at eleventh hour

  • 2007-12-12
  • In cooperation with BNS

TALLINN -- The Estonian transport workers'trade union has called off its planned strike action after agreeing terms with the association of transport enterprises about a two-year collective labor agreement. the deal was brokered at the last minute by the public conciliation bureau.

The board of the trade union decided very narrowly infavor of signing the deal, union leader Peep Peterson said.In his words, four members were against and six backed theagreement, with one abstention.

The union and the employers' association on Dec 11 accepted in principle the public conciliator's compromise proposal.

An walkout by bus drivers had been due to go ahead on Tuesday morning but was postponed while talks continued. Now it seems that the strike will not take place at all.

Under the agreement, bus drivers' new minimum wage is 7,060 kroons (451 euros) per month. To the minimum will be addedextras for night shifts and overtime, as well as amotivation payment. The new minimum will step into effectfrom the new year or, following an adjustment period, fromFebruary 2008.

The current minimum, effective since 2006, is 5,400kroons.

Beside wages, also provisions covering work and rest time, various social guarantees and the relations betweenemployers and the trade union are included in the agreement.