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Sweden presents new law on collective wage agreements

Sweden presents new law on collective wage agreements

Published: 08 Oct 2009 17:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Oct 2009 17:24 GMT+02:00

Set to take effect on April 1st, 2010, the new law revises the rules governing when unions have the right to take industrial action.

The legislation comes in the wake of a December 2007 ruling by the European Court of Justice against a Swedish union that ordered a blockade of a construction site operated by Latvian firm Laval in Vaxholm in 2004.

“The new conditions for industrial action mean that the terms of collective agreements over which trade unions take industrial action must be taken from a Swedish central industry-wide agreement and may only regulate certain areas - such as pay, working hours and holidays,” said the government in a statement.

According to the government, the new law allows Sweden to maintain the Swedish labour model in accordance with the European court ruling.

Both labour and employers groups are critical of the proposal, which is the product of work by a government appointed commission headed by Claes Stråth and was completed in December of last year.

Sweden’s main trade union federation, LO, doesn’t think the legislation closes loopholes which would allow wage-dumping by unscrupulous employers.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Confederation of Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) contends the proposal still violates some aspects of EU law.

Sweden’s Minister of Labour, Sven Otto Littorin, regretted that he was forced to present the legislation, saying it amounted to political meddling in wage setting.

“I am glad that we have found a solution that combines the Swedish labour market model with existing [European] Community law in a well-balanced way. It is possible to retain the Swedish model while respecting Community law,” he said in a statement.

He reiterated that there are only 2,000 people stationed in Sweden and that most of them are covered by Swedish collective wage agreements.

Employers who don’t want to be subject to industrial action must prove that they fulfill the requirements laid out in Swedish collective wage agreements, with disputes to be settled by the Labour Court.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

03:04 October 9, 2009 by Maxx1
This is how they gutted the Labor laws in the USA, and destroyed American Unions.

Sorry Sweden, But you're heading down the same road the USA did, and your citizens, like us here in the USA, will be screwed over by corporate interests until there is only the very rich and the very poor.

The RIAA and MPPA already own your courts.
14:24 October 9, 2009 by grantike
what is happening to sweden.lots od policy changes,what exactly is happening.i hope the masses dicover fast before is late.fees for foreign students except eu soon it will be swedish students will follow i bet you that.what about the taxes this forign companies or students pay when they have jobs.its really painful how so many things are changing so fast
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