Estonian shop steward fired after court demands his reinstatement

1 Jul 2016

On 1 October 2015 Sergey Mastepan, an EMSA Shop Steward working at the Estonian stevedoring services company Transiidikeskuse, was dismissed after he spoke out in a picket line speech about poor working conditions and anti-union discrimination by the employer. On 29 June 2016 the Estonian court judged that the termination of his contract was unlawful and demanded his reinstatement. Immediately after the court decision the company announced that Sergey would receive a notice of a further termination of his contract, this time on the grounds of the difficult economic situation.

The trade union movement is very much disturbed about the course of events and reads it as the employer’s persistence to undermine trade union representation in the company. It also fits in Transiidikeskuse’s refusal to recognise ETF affiliate EMSA which represents dockers working there. The ETF and ITF have therefore launched an appeal for sending protest letters to express solidarity and to demand that Transiidikeskuse reinstates Sergey Mastepan and recognises him as the properly-elected shop steward. Both organisations also call upon Managing Director Erik Laidvee to recognise EMSA and enter into collective bargaining negotiations.