AS „Nordeka” management announcement on the company’s drivers strike organized by trade union LABA

AS „Nordeka” hereby informs that some of company employees on 08.11.2014. have started strike to express their attitude towards the salary issue.

Respecting lawful rights of the company’s employees to participate in the strike, AS „Nordeka” management regards as unacceptable the public slandering campaign against the company carried out by the organizers of the strike – trade union LABA.

AS „Nordeka” management explicitly declines the statements made by strike organizers regarding the company management attitude towards its employees, non-observance of drivers work and rest regimen and low salaries.

According to the State LLC „Autotransporta direkcija” (Road Transport Administration) the remuneration of AS „Nordeka” bus drivers before taxes is one of the highest in the industry. In 2013 it was in average 850 EUR.

AS „Nordeka” is one of the largest passenger carriers in Latvia and also one of the biggest taxpayers in the industry. During the last years company shareholders have invested considerable funds in the company development and improvement of the employees work conditions.

Today the company has one of the best and advanced bus fleet in the industry, the operation of which is ensured by up-to-date Technical service centre. Bus drivers work according to in advance coordinated and approved monthly work schedule. One of the basic principles of the company work organization is that bus drivers are not involved in such technological processes as bus repair, cleaning and washing, scheduled technical maintenance and technical inspections. To have rest between the trips, the company relaxation centre and hostel are available for drivers. In the canteen, the employees have 20% discount. The company has certified training centre, where regular trainings are organized for employees to advance their professional development and qualification. All this is being done to constantly improve the quality of services provided by the company.

By its categorical demand to set the driver’s wage rate in the amount of 6 EUR per hour, which more than 3 times exceeds the current rate, and manipulating with unjustified and unverifiable statements, trade union LABA spokesmen spread false information and try to create the impression that they express the opinion on behalf of all AS „Nordeka” bus drivers and that they have the support of all them.

However, even not all LABA members support the trade union leaders view, the evidence of which is that from initially announced 22 strikers (the official list the company management has not received even up to now, even though LABA promised to provide it), only 8 persons participate in the strike.

The trade union LAKRS organization is also present in the AS „Nordeka”, and in 2002 the collective agreement was signed with it as an industry trade union. The consultations with LAKRS are being held about the possibilities to execute changes in the remuneration system. A mutual understanding has been reached that in the situation, when the state still has not paid in full for the year 2013 in accordance with signed agreements, company financial situation and state allocated funding for public transport services should be taken into account in resolving this issue.

AS „Nordeka” is of opinion that considering the currently inconsistent legislation in the public transport sector, the work payment issue should be reviewed within the framework of the whole industry, not in each separate company. For effective resolution the involvement of not only the carriers, but also the contracting authority of the public transport services - State LLC „Autotransporta direkcija”- and the industry policy builder- Ministry of Transport– should be involved.

AS „Nordeka” is a company with good reputation, earned over the years by all the workers of the company. This is acknowledged both by the employees, customers, partners and competitors. The slandering campaign of trade union LABA carried out exactly in the time when the evaluation of the proposals of several significant tenders is being done, suggests that the struggle about the improvement of the employees well being is not the only aim of this action.

AS „Nordeka” declares that regardless the trade union LABA expressed public statements which are aimed to create doubt about the company’s ability to fulfil its obligations under the agreements, AS „Nordeka” will do its utmost to ensure that all the trips in the serviced routes will be carried out in accordance with approved schedules, and our passengers will not have to change their travel plans.

AS „Nordeka” also affirms that the current bus driver strike does not affect the company’s financial stability and that the company is able to ensure the defined number of trips.