Polish company sacks dozens
of organized electricians
from the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant construction site
Helsinki (18.11.2011 - Juhani Artto) The Polish company Elektrobudowa Spolka
Akcyjna has given notice to 32 Polish electricians at the Olkiluoto nuclear
power plant construction site. Most of the sacked workers are rank and file
members of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union.
According to Finnish unions, the company has let it be known that it will
also dismiss the remaining organized Polish electricians by the end of the
year. At the end of October 190 Elektrobudowa SA's employees were rank and
file members of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union. The company has
around 360 employees altogether at the Olkiluoto construction site.
Among the sacked electricians were many who earlier this year sued the
company for unpaid salaries.
"This is a brutal attack against the right to organise, guaranteed under
Finnish legislation, and against the core activity of the trade union
movement", says Hannu Luukkonen, who is responsible for cases at the
Olkiluoto construction site at the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union.
Lack of work cannot be the reason for the sackings as on November 14
Elektrobudowa SA had only completed 62 per cent of its work in Olkiluoto.
The workers who have lost their jobs believe that the company will replace
them by employing other electricians from Poland.
The sackings have been condemned also by the Metalworkers' Union, the
salaried employees union, Pro and the Finnish Construction Trade Union. The
four unions have already had for a long time now close cooperation at the
site. Their Presidents will consider action against the Polish company if
the conflict, caused by the arbitrary sackings, cannot be resolved in a way
that satisfies the workers.
Matti Huutola, director at the union
confederation SAK, emphasizes that the French company Areva, the site's main
contractor, and the Finnish company Teollisuuden Voima, the owner of the
plant, have moral responsibility for the fulfillment of workers' rights in