Bloomberg News

Estonian Employers Agree With Unions on Minimum-Wage Increase

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Estonian employers and trade unions reached a preliminary agreement on raising the minimum monthly wage by 4.3 percent from January, citing the higher cost of living and a government plan to raise pensions.

The minimum gross wage would rise to 290 euros ($377) from the 278 euros that has been in force since 2008, according to a statement published on the website of the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions yesterday. Details of the accord still need to be agreed upon, it said.

“If pensions rise and wages don’t, that would increase passivity in the labor market, which would be the wrong signal,” Tarmo Kriis, the head of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, said in the statement.

Under the 2012 state budget, approved in parliament this month, pensions would rise 4.4 percent from April. The unions in April sought a 17 percent increase in the minimum wage. Average annual inflation may accelerate to 5.1 percent this year from 2.7 percent in 2010, the central bank said yesterday.

--Editors: Balazs Penz, Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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