Cooperation with the
Finnish union PAM proves helpful
to Estonian service sector employees
Helsinki (22.02.2010 - Juhani Artto) The Estonian service sector union ETKA has grown
strongly over the past five years. The number of its rank and file members has risen at a
rate of 10 per cent annually. Now, membership exceeds 1,000. Compared with the development
of most other Estonian unions, ETKA has progressed well.
One of the factors behind the improvement has been the close cooperation with the Finnish
union PAM (Service Union United PAM). ETKA and PAM began a common project five years ago,
focusing on ETKA's organising and collective bargaining. The work has been successful, as
ETKA has several company-specific collective agreements, and in addition, agreements on
cooperation with some companies.
Another area of cooperation between the two unions has concerned Estonians working in
service sector jobs in Finland. ETKA's rank and file members, working in Finland, have the
right to utilise PAM's membership services. And they are entitled to avail of this right
from the very first day they commence work in Finland.
In the Greater Helsinki Region PAM has organised courses on Finnish working life,
taxation, social security and collective agreements for Estonian speakers, PAM's
international secretary Mari Taivainen explains. More events of this kind will be
organised in the next few months.
This cooperation with ETKA has also directly benefited PAM. The union has over 1,000 rank
and file members whose mother language is Estonian. Most of them work in cleaning sector