Estonia, Financial Services, Legislation, Markets and Companies, Wages

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 20.07.2018, 23:22

HKScan, trade union in Estonia reach agreement on salary terms

BC, Tallinn, 13.04.2018.Print version
HKScan Estonia, subsidiary of the Nordic food group HKScan, in the first quarter updated its salary system and increased the company's salary fund, based on which individual salary changes were carried out for striking employees as well, informs LETA/BNS.

"We are glad to announce that the Estonian Association of Industrial and Metal Workers Trade Unions (IMTAL) on April 9 informed the employer that both the striking employees as well as IMTAL agree to the salary increase of the slaughterhouse unit workers. Thus, the demands of the strike that was started on February 6 have been met and the strike should be ended immediately," CEO of HKScan Estonia Anne Mere told BNS.


"As for IMTAL's new proposal to recognize the trade union in the form of a contract, we are dealing with that as a separate issue, as the given points of the contract were not the basis of the strike. As part of a listed company and a large employer we are always ready for dialogue with various interest groups, following the legislation and good business practices in effect in the Republic of Estonia," Mere said.


According to Mere, the focus in the company is currently on implementing a salary increase and the company will continue improving internal working processes and cooperation with its employees.


Strikers of the slaughterhouse unit of the Rakvere meatpacking plant of HKScan at a strike meeting two weeks ago decided to send a proposal to the employer to stop striking if the company recognizes the trade union and are planning to continue with work stoppage until an agreement is reached.


"The strike will end if the employer agrees to sign a contract for recognizing the trade union, on which future cooperation and substantive collective talks in the name of all workers can be established," the Estonian Trade Union Confederation said in March.


The proposed agreement would recognize the established 115-member trade union department as a representative of employees in the sense of the collective agreement and permit normal communication with all employees of the company.


According to the agreement, the parties would assume the responsibility of starting the process of entering into a collective agreement to solve the problems of all employee groups and declare the lack of legal requirements concerning the strike with respect to each other.


The employees of the slaughterhouse unit of the Rakvere meatpacking plant on February 6 started a strike with no end date for a wage increase, which is a record in Estonia after the country gained back its independence. Before that, the longest strike was that of healthcare workers in 2012, which lasted for 25 days.


The slaughter unit workers wanted their pay to be raised by 16% as of Feb. 1 and by another 16% as of July 1. Additionally, the employees demanded that the method of calculation of performance wages was not changed. The current net salary of slaughter unit employees is approximately 750 euros per month, made up of basic wages and extras.


HKScan is a Nordic meat producer which produces and markets pork, beef, poultry meat and mutton, processed meat and ready-made food. HKScan saw a loss of 18 million euros (comparable) on revenue of 1.8 billion euros in 2017. The HKScan Group also includes HKScan Estonia, which owns the Rakvere meatpacking plant and poultry producer Tallegg.






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