UNI Europa calls on its members to take action against the harassment and intimidation of its trade union members in Estonia in the two Scandinavian banks, Nordea and DNB.
The trade union colleagues in the banks Nordea and DNB in Estonia are locked in an ongoing struggle with management over the impending merger to create the new Luminor bank.
Since the merger was announced last year, the local management in Nordea Estonia is resorting to all non-negotiation tactics: smear campaigns in the media, hiring of union busting legal assistance and most importantly intimidation tactics aimed at shop stewards daring to make their voices heard. This is disappointing and an unacceptable development for two banks that otherwise maintain good relations with the trade union movement in other countries in which they operate, and the ongoing tacit support for these activities from the top management of both banks should not go unnoticed.
The first factor is the decision taken by management in Nordea Estonia to walk away from the collective negotiations last year, with seemingly no intention of returning. The management of Nordea Estonia has made false statements and accusations about the terminated negotiations and the demands from the shop stewards in Nordea, and the managements of DNB and Nordea have refused to commit themselves to collective bargaining in Luminor.
The second factor is the intimidation and harassment of employee representatives, experiencing job transfers without due course and notice, reduced remuneration, facing redundancy after the merger and other kinds of pressure from the local management.
Call to action
These two factors, along with the aforementioned anti-union practices, are unacceptable to UNI Europa Finance, and we are thus calling on trade unions representing workers across Europe, to help us to support the local unions in Estonia.
We must in unison take a stand to let the banks in question, and the sector as a whole, know that these practices are not acceptable. By failing to act on our repeated requests for collective bargaining and the respect for workers’ rights, the management at all levels of Nordea and DNB have shown their intention to treat this situation as a local and easily ignored one.
In fact, both Nordea and DNB have a responsibility to respect workers and the trade unions that represent them in all countries in which they operate, and as such, UNI Europa Finance is calling on you, to stand together by raising this issue with colleagues, media, local management and other relevant stakeholders in your home country.
UNI Europa Finance once again expresses its clear expectation that management, in particular that of Nordea Estonia, immediately ceases its intimidation tactics of individual shop stewards and returns to the negotiation table in a timely manner.
UNI Europa Finance calls on the managements of DNB and Nordea to make a clear statement that the values of dialogue and respect of trade unions’ and workers’ rights that they exercise in their home countries must and will apply in every country where they operate.
UNI Europa Finance is engaged in this struggle and we hope that you will stand with us in order to show Nordea and DNB that international trade union solidarity will not allow the voice of workers to be ignored.
Elke Zander, Communications Officer, UNI Europa