Helsinki (18.11.2011 - Juhani Artto) The Polish company Elektrobudowa Spolka Akcyjna has given notice to 32 Polish electricians at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant construction site. Most of the sacked workers are rank and file members of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union.
According to Finnish unions, the company has let it be known that it will also dismiss the remaining organized Polish electricians by the end of the year. At the end of October 190 Elektrobudowa SA's employees were rank and file members of the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union. The company has around 360 employees altogether at the Olkiluoto construction site.
Among the sacked electricians were many who earlier this year sued the company for unpaid salaries.
"This is a brutal attack against the right to organise, guaranteed under Finnish legislation, and against the core activity of the trade union movement", says Hannu Luukkonen, who is responsible for cases at the Olkiluoto construction site at the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union.
Lack of work cannot be the reason for the sackings as on November 14 Elektrobudowa SA had only completed 62 per cent of its work in Olkiluoto. The workers who have lost their jobs believe that the company will replace them by employing other electricians from Poland.
The sackings have been condemned also by the Metalworkers' Union, the salaried employees union, Pro and the Finnish Construction Trade Union. The four unions have already had for a long time now close cooperation at the site. Their Presidents will consider action against the Polish company if the conflict, caused by the arbitrary sackings, cannot be resolved in a way that satisfies the workers.
Matti Huutola, director at the union confederation SAK, emphasizes that the French company Areva, the site's main contractor, and the Finnish company Teollisuuden Voima, the owner of the plant, have moral responsibility for the fulfillment of workers' rights in Olkiluoto.