Unions to form chain from Narva to Sillamae

  • 2000-05-11
TALLINN (BNS) - Energy and oil shale unions are about to stage a forceful protest on June 3 by forming a human chain between the northeast Estonian cities of Sillamae and Narva through Johvi.

The goal of the action is to draw the attention of the government and the public to employment and social problems in the northeastern region of Ida-Virumaa, said Tonu Vare, press-secretary of the Association of Estonian Trade Unions.

The energy and oil shale unions unite about 2,500 people, Vare said. He was unable to say if there would be enough people taking part in the action to form a human chain covering the entire distance separating the three cities.

Organizers have also invited light industry, metal and health workers unions to take part in the action.Ida-Virumaa has the highest unemployment rate in Estonia, and the problem is getting sharper with the upcoming major privatization deals affecting the region, Vare said.

Participants in the action will adopt a petition to the government demanding a life worthy of human existence, support to small enterprise and incentives for investment in Ida-Virumaa.

Vare said the text of the petition would be put together in the course of the protest action.

New EAKL leader Kadi Parnits, elected to the post last May 5, pledged more forceful actions in support of the rights of employees.

The distance between Narva and Sillamae is 25 kilometers, while about as many kilometers separate Sillamae from Johvi.