Finns deny textile boycott

  • 1999-03-25
TALLINN (BNS) - The Finnish textile workers' trade union has refuted an allegation published in the Estonian press last week that the union is planning a boycott against the Estonian clothing industry.

Auli Korhonen, chairwoman of the Finnish Textile and Garments Industry Union, told the Postimees daily that the news of a boycott against the Estonian textile industry is not true.

Korhonen said she only expressed the hope in her interview to the Aripaev business daily that the pay level in the Estonian textile industry would rise. She added that Estonian workers probably wished the same.

At present, the wages of textile industry workers range from 1,500 kroons to 2,000 kroons ($105 to $140) monthly, while in Finland, average wages in the branch are 20,000 kroons a month.

Korhonen said that the difference in the pay is enormous but in spite of that the trade union is not planning to take any action.

"The Finnish trade union is now involved in a major campaign of promoting domestic products, but this has no connection with Estonia or subcontracting," she added.

Sale of domestic textiles has dropped to 16 percent of the total volume of the market.

In Estonia, Finnish textile companies provide jobs to nearly 9,000 people. In all, subcontracting work accounted for 44 percent of the Estonian clothing industry's 1.21 billion kroon yearly sales turnover in 1998.