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Turkish electricians returned home

Helsinki (22.11.2010 - Juhani Artto) In late September we reported on suspicions that Turkish electricians are not being properly paid for building a new 400 kV transmission line in Southern Ostrobothnia (www.artto.kaapeli.fi/unions/T2010/n28). These suspicions had been voiced by The Electrical Workers' Union.

Soon after that Sauli Väntti, who is responsible for the union's work in the energy and ICT sectors, visited the work site of the Turkish company Internationale Freileitungsmontage (IFM) to gather information on working conditions. A week later - without any explanations - the 33 Turkish electricians returned home.

We can only speculate why the workers left the country so abruptly, Paavo Holi, the editor of the union's magazine Vasama, writes in its latest issue. As a possible motive, the Finnish contractor Fingrid has hinted at the negative publicity the project had received. The work is now continuing using Finnish electricians, Vasama tells.

"Probably the visit of the union representative made the Turkish company fear that the real working conditions would be exposed. A company operating honestly would scarcely have given up a good project as it would have been able to prove that the working conditions respect Finnish legislation and the collective agreement", Holi writes.