Thematic Decent work 2018-06-13T09:24:41+00:00


Only around 10% of Estonia’s workers are members of unions1. In Tallinn, Muuga and Paldiski, Estonian port-workers struggled to have a say about their work. With Norway Grants support, they have improved knowledge about their rights and they now have a stronger influence on the working terms and conditions.
The project, which was funded by the Norway Grants during the 09-14 period, aimed to address the issues faced by the port-workers by promoting trust and highlighting the benefits of the Nordic model of close social dialogue between workers unions, employer organisations and the government. EISU ran the project in partnership with the Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation, which provided expertise and shared their experience with the Nordic model. Three seminars for activists were organised and the Estonians visited Kristiansand in Norway to learn about the Nordic model. A workbook on introducing social dialogue practices was also produced.
The project had a significant impact. 106 new members joined the network of port workers. The workers gained confidence and a better understanding of the value of social dialogue. A culture of hopelessness was slowly replaced by the interest to learn, speak about problems and guarantee a safe working environment and decent pay. Following the project, three collective agreements were developed in consultations with union members, forming the basis for negotiations.
Read more stories from the projects we have funded under the ‘Global Fund for Decent Work and Tripartite Dialogue’.

1.European Trade Union Institute (2018)


Countries with a long tradition of social dialogue –where social partners come together to discuss and negotiate work-related matters– tend to be more competitive and have stronger economies.1 While there is an ongoing bipartite dialogue between employers and employee associations in the beneficiary countries, a tripartite dialogue also involving public authorities has only recently emerged in some of them.

1. A New Start for Social Dialogue, European Commission 2017

Fair terms and working conditions favourable for all is the core of the Decent work and tripartite dialogue agenda which covers key European labour issues:


With €8.1 million in funding over the last years, the Decent Work programme was modest in size. It however had a strong impact, leading to improved social dialogue and tripartite structures and a stronger understanding of the importance of decent work.
Read about what will be supported in the area of social dialogue and decent work in the 2014-2021 funding period.