wages for Turkish electricians building Finnish transmission lines
Juhani Artto) The Electrical Workers'
Union suspects that Turkish electricians are not paid properly for
building a new 400 kV transmission line in Southern Ostrobothnia.
According to information received by the union directly from the work
site, Turkish electricians are paid EUR6.5 per hour. It is only about
half of the wage agreed upon by the industry's
bargaining parties in their present national collective agreement.
Sauli Väntti, responsible for the union's
work in the energy and ICT
sectors, asked the authorities to look into the case on September 27 to
determine whether or not there has been a breach of the collective
agreement already in force.
The tender for building the transmission line was won by the German
company SAG Gmbh. It has subcontracted the work to the Turkish company
Internationale Freileitungsmontage (IFM). At present the latter has 33
employees doing the work in Finland. The EUR 9.5 million project has
been commissioned by the Finnish company Fingrid which is the only
transmission line operator in Finland. This company -which in effect
holds a monopoly position- is owned by the State of Finland, private
energy companies and private investors.
According to the work permit applications for the Turkish electricians
SAG and IFM pay considerably less wages than what they now say to pay.
The Finnish union claims that the German company SAG has consciously
tendered using labour costs that are far below the level defined in the
national collective agreement.
Väntti is at pains to stress that the union is not against foreign
labour but against competition where not everybody follows fair rules.
The employment of foreign electricians who are paid paltry wages also
hurts the Finnish national economy. Several large and well-established
Finnish companies with a proven track record participated in the tender
The Electrical Workers'
Union urges Fingrid to consider its responsibility and ensure contracts
are awarded fairly and with due respect to the legislation.
company must be ready to control -and when necessary be able to produce
evidence- that the winner of the tender is committed to abiding by
Finnish legislation and guarantee down to the last unit of its
subcontractor chain pay their employees according to the Finnish
the union insists.