Tallink’s Baltic Queen cruise ship crew is on strike, demanding a 20 percent wage increase and refusing to repeat the 7-10 percent raise granted two years ago.
The demonstration took place in Tallinn’s Old City Port, Terminal D, reports Postimees (link in Estonian), and attracted around 50 participants – twice the number of passengers on the now-delayed cruise ship. In contrast, similar actions took place on two other Tallink vessels, the MS Star and the new MS MiStar shuttle ships.
Juri Lember, head of the Independent Estonian Seamen’s Union (EMSA), said: “Every six or eight years you have to be reminded with a warning strike,” adding that: “We will not settle for some 7-10 percent wage increase as happened two years ago “.
Lember said collective action is the only way to achieve such goals. He compared his organization’s calls for a 20-22 percent salary increase, costing €2 million to €2.25 million, with the total salary of €2.25 million for 2021 paid to Tallink’s five board members.
Lember also stated that Tallink repaid about 50.8 million euros of loans, which, he said, would lead to increased enrichment of the company’s owners, adding that, unlike the crisis in 2008, the current economic situation is just a recession.
The original Postmees piece (in Estonian) is here.
The consequences of the Covid pandemic at the beginning of 2020 seriously affected Tallink.