Court may stop boycott

  • 1999-02-18
TALLINN (BNS) - A district court in Helsinki will announce its ruling to the Estonian Shipping Company's application asking to stop a boycott against its ships on Feb. 17.

The boycott was launched by the Finnish seamen's trade union last December, who demanded Estonian seamen should have the same salary as the Finns.

"The Helsinki district court told our lawyers the ruling has been postponed from this week to Feb. 17," said Urmas Oobik, the shipping company's public relations director.

Viktor Palmet, company development director, said he is expecting a ruling that is to the shipping company's advantage. The company will then have 20 days to file its main application against the Finnish seamen's trade union.

The Estonian Shipping Company has estimated the damages caused by the boycott at about 20 million kroons ($1.44 million). At the end of last year, the Finnish seamen's trade union demanded the Estonian company should raise the pay of the crew on board the Rakvere and the Calibur cargo ships to the level of that paid to Finnish sailors. The union also demanded the signing of a respective contract under pressure of a port boycott .

The Estonian company said the Finnish union was acting in the interests of Finnish shipping companies in order to force a rival out of the Helsinki-Muuga-Aarhus shipping route, on which the two ships had been sailing.