Helsinki (26.09.2011 - Juhani Artto) The Finnish Electrical workers' union is suing the Polish company Elektrobudowa for unpaid wages, overtime compensation and holiday pay and unpaid compensation for expenses.

The claim amounts to over EUR 2.7 million which has accrued from January 2009 to May 2011 at the construction site of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The claim concerns 115 Polish electricians who have joined the Finnish union.

According to the union's magazine Vasama, the electricians have been paid on average only EUR8 to EUR13 per hour although the minimum wage is EUR15.03 per hour. The minimum is defined in the collective agreement for electricians' work.

The agreement is of generally binding character and thus sets the minimum conditions of work also for foreign employees working for foreign companies in Finland.

"Thanks to the active involvement and persistent efforts of the Electrical workers' union a considerable number of electricians employed by the Polish company, Elektrobudowa, have now joined the union and mandated it to take the company to the court", Vasama's editor Paavo Holi writes in the editorial column of the latest issue (8-2011). "This case points to nothing less than pioneering work in the history of the Finnish trade union movement and demonstrates that the union is clearly in the forefront of the union movement when it comes to challenging criminal aspects of the economy."