New year brings railway workers long-awaited wage increase
International transport and logistics company Operail signed an extension to a collective agreement with unions for 2019, which, among other things, foresees an 8 per cent wage increase for workers.
On 4 January, the collective agreement was signed by Raul Toomsalu, Chairman of the Operail Board; Oleg Tšubarov, Chairman of the Estonian Railway Workers’ Union; and Raivo Romm, Chairman of the Estonian Union of Locomotive Drivers.
“Our most valuable asset is our employees, and we must stand up for their competitive working conditions, which undoubtedly also includes salary. I thank the union chairs Oleg Tšubarov and Raivo Romm as well as the trustees for their contributions to the successful negotiations for the extension of the collective agreement,” said Chairman of the Operail Board, Raul Toomsalu. “The last financial year was a profitable one for the company over a long period of time, and a large part in this was played by our dedicated and loyal workers, who I thank greatly for this contribution.”
“Naturally, the wishes of our workers are greater than the actual capacities of the employer, and thus the concessions are more modest. For this reason, there are negotiations to reach an agreement that would guarantee a peaceful working life,” said Chairman of the Estonian Railway Workers’ Union Oleg Tšubarov. “At the heart of the agreement we signed were wage issues, but, for example, we also agreed on additional railway safety issues. We acknowledge the employer that is willing and able to hold negotiations and reach agreements under difficult circumstances.”
The extended collective agreement was originally concluded with the Estonian Railway Workers’ Union in 2014 and with the Estonian Union of Locomotive Drivers in 2016.
Operail is an Estonian state-owned railway company whose main lines of business are freight transport, rolling stock rental, and rolling stock maintenance and modernisation. The company employs 690 people.