Only 3 pct of Estonian citizens are trade union members - survey

Ametiühingud protesteerivad täna valitsuse üleoleva suhtumise vastu töötajatesse.

PHOTO: Toomas Huik

Only 3 percent of EU citizens in Estonia are members of a trade union, it appears from a recent Eurobarometer survey on participatory democracy in Europe.

The survey shows that in all the three Baltic countries the percentage of people belonging to a non-governmental organization is several times lower than in the EU on average. The rate of union membership in Lithuania is 3 percent just like in Estonia, while in Latvia nine percent of citizens are members of a union.

At the other end of the scale, union membership rate is 61 percent in Denmark and 54 percent in Sweden and Finland. In the EU27, 16 percent of residents are members of a trade union.

Membership in organizations and associations that are independent from the state, or chambers of commerce, industry or agriculture, trade unions, professional associations, employers' organizations and organisations with a specific interest (economic, social, environmental, cultural or sporting interests) is lower too in the Baltic countries than in the EU on average, being 6 percent in Estonia and Latvia and 5 percent in Lithuania, compared with the EU average ratio of 20 percent.

The survey was carried out by TNS Political & Social network in the 27 EU member states between Feb. 14 and 16 by conducting telephone interviews with 25,551 respondents from different social and demographic groups, including with 1,000 respondents in Estonia.