NFU News

NFU to support organizing in Estonia’s finance sector

On Wednesday June 15 in Tallinn, NFU signed an agreement of cooperation with the Association of Estonian Financial Sector Employees (EFL) and the Estonian Communication and Service Workers’ Union (ESTAL) for a project to organize union members in the finance sector in Estonia.

The project will run for three years and provide funds to employ an organizer who will work on the ground in the Estonian finance sector to grow the finance union and help to build stronger union structures for the future.

“We are very happy to be able to start cooperating with EFL and ESTAL in Estonia”, NFU General Secretary Arvid Ahrin said. “As Nordic financial institutions continue to expand their cross-border operations, we need to work together across national borders to strengthen union influence. Just as in the Nordic countries, strong unions and collective agreements are the foundation for sound wages and working conditions in the finance sector.”

The agreement is made within the framework of the Baltic Organising Academy (BOA). BOA was launched six years ago as a new strategy and method for organizing in the Baltic countries and has shown real results. The strategy includes training of organizers, close cooperation with the BOA support networks, and clear targets for membership growth. Organizers work together in cross-sectoral teams and are supported by a lead organizer and a network of experts from both Nordic and Baltic unions.

Tanel Erik Podar, Deputy Chairman of EFL, said: “Our union has momentum and is growing, so the NFU involvement comes at a good point in time. By organizing new members and signing collective agreements we want to make a real change for finance employees.” Kadri Kangur, President of ESTAL, said: “Together with EFL and NFU we are looking forward to strengthening union structures in the finance sector in Estonia.”

“We are looking forward to breaking new ground together with our colleagues in EFL and ESTAL”, Arvid Ahrin continued. “As Nordic companies move their operations abroad, it is essential that the culture of dialogue with unions is upheld. We hope that our organizing work in finance can serve as inspiration also for other sectors in future.”

From left to right: Veiko Mölder, BOA Lead Organiser; Ruth Kaugurs, Lawyer ESTAL; Peep Peterson, Chairman EAKL; Arvid Ahrin, NFU General Secretary; Tanel Erik Podar, Deputy Chairman EFL; Kadri Kangur, President ESTAL; Risto Raudkivi, Organiser finance sector; Marion-Jacqueline Vahtre, Youth Leader ESTAL
All photos (c) Erlend Staub

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