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JUHANI ARTTO
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juttupohja_4
A Finnish company replaces Finnish electricians
with underpaid and illegally compensated Estonians


Helsinki (21.03.2010 - Juhani Artto) Twelve Estonian electricians have been working in Finland since autumn 2009 under conditions that are in breach of both Finnish legislation and the collective agreement applicable to this industry. The case is exposed in the latest issue of Vasama, the magazine of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union.

The electricians have been working on the construction of a shopping centre in Nokia, near Tampere. They have worked 58 hour working weeks without receiving the overtime compensation that they are due. Also the daily allowance has been less than that set down in the collective agreement for this industry.

The Estonians are employees of the Estonian company AS Keila Elektritööd that has been subcontracted, for the work in Nokia, by the Finnish company Sähköpeko Oy.

"What makes the behaviour of Sähköpeko especially brutal is that it has simultaneously given notice to about 30 Finnish electricians", Keijo Rimmistö says. He works as the director of this sector at the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union.

This is not the first time Sähköpeko has been involved in a project that has been connected with the grey economy. In 2006 the company was a contractor on another shopping
centre project near Tampere (Ideapark in Lempäälä). At that time it cooperated with the Polish company MSB that paid to its employees far below the proper level.

Recently the district court of Tampere found MSB guilty of unlawful treatment of its employees and ordered the company to pay a fine. In 2007 the company agreed with the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union to pay to the
88 electricians who had worked for it in Finland EUR711,000 to bridge the gap between what had been actually paid and the proper wage.

Rimmistö wonders how is it possible for Sähköpeko not to have learnt from this experience and realise that when it comes to contracting deception does not pay.

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