• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Unions ordered to pay for Vaxholm blockade

TT/David Landes · 2 Dec 2009, 15:19

Published: 02 Dec 2009 15:19 GMT+01:00

The sum, to be paid to the Laval construction company by the Byggnads builders union and the Swedish Electricians’ Union, includes 2 million kronor in court costs incurred by the company, as well as 550,000 kronor plus interest in what the court called “general damages” for carrying out illegal labour conflict measures.

Even though Byggnads didn’t agree with the judgment, the organization plans to abide by the ruling and pay the compensation.

“We abide by the legal outcomes we receive and that’s something we’ve always done. We want everything in order in the labour market and that means following the laws and rules,” Byggnads chair Hans Tilly told the TT news agency.

He believes trade unions must coordinate better, both in Sweden and in Europe.

“We’ve relied on the Swedish model and on solving conflicts between parties. But employers have decided to take legal action instead of negotiate. They put things on a new track,” he said.

The electric workers’ union, which joined the blockade in solidarity with Byggnads, believes the ruling will make it harder for Swedish unions to demand collective wage agreements for foreign workers.

A subsidiary to Laval was hit by a union-ordered blockade in November 2004 after negotiations on a collective wage agreement with Byggnads failed.

The company eventually withdrew from the school-renovation project in Vaxholm outside of Stockholm and the contract it had with the municipality was torn up. Laval’s Swedish subsidiary later went bankrupt.

The Labour Court rejected Laval’s request in 2004 to have the court order the unions to terminate the blockade.

In April 2005, the court found that it could not rule on the case until it received clarification from the European Court of Justice regarding EU and Swedish labour laws.

The Latvian government protested against the Swedish position in the case, viewing the blockade as a violation of EU rules protecting the free movement of labour among EU member states.

In December 2007, the European court ruled that the blockade broke EU rules and that Byggnads went too far in ordering a blockade of the Vaxholm work site.

Story continues below…

According to the European Court, Byggnads had demanded more than what was allowed under the 1996 EU directive governing posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.

While the Swedish court has now ruled that the trade unions are required to compensate Laval for general damages and court costs, it rejected the Latvian builder’s demand that it be compensated for economic damages.

The ruling wasn’t unanimous, with three of the seven judges dissenting. One of the three believed the damage award should have been lower, while two others didn’t think Laval should be compensated at all.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:16 December 2, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
About time you unions were clipped, they are getting too big for their own good.
20:23 December 2, 2009 by Beynch
Agree with Flying Scotsman. These pathetic, lousy, corrupt, underhanded, uuuuuuunions outserved their usefullness decades ago, and need to be taught a lesson. Crush the political left at the ballot box in 2010.
09:41 December 3, 2009 by S Madison
I agree also with Flying Scotsman. Unions criples the economy. All the lazy people who does not have a backbone is with unions. Why does not union come to the small business owners or any business owners and ask if their members are performing, if they should be cross trained, are there members are being effective workers, instead, they look at their rules (about 100 years old) and dictate to the owners what they should or should not do. They do not work for their members, they just want to make sure that they have enough members so they get their paycheques. If all hell break loose, the union will be first one to get their bonuses and pay and all the members will be left hanging dry! That day will come soon in Sweden and Union, will not exist. We live in a 20th century, people have rights to negotiate with their employee what they should be paid and worth. Why do they need union to tell them? My advise would be remove yourself from the union and save your money instead and learn to fight yourself.
07:05 December 6, 2009 by LazyDog
Fight for them selves yes but don't forget they need a queue number ha ha ha ha.

Oh! yes i agree with the Flying Scotsman to.
Today's headlines
Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

The Local List
You'll never really be Swedish without trying this weird food
Kebab pizza. It exists. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The Local's intern Saina Behnejad on her love-hate relationship with Swedish cuisine.

Sweden's Stenson pulls out of Barclays with injured knee
Henrik Stenson at the Olympics this summer. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Henrik Stenson's injury throws doubt on Europe's chances at next month's Ryder Cup.

The Local Recipes
How to make this delicious Swedish crayfish pasta
Swedish crayfish pasta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Combine the Swedish favourite of crayfish with pasta to impress with this simple yet tasty dish.

Drunken Christmas goat burner risks four years in jail
The Christmas goat looks at the fireworks and contemplates its future. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

His singed eyebrows were a dead giveaway.

Joe Biden: 'Sweden has shown great leadership'
Joe Biden, left, and Stefan Löfven. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

US Vice President Joe Biden praised Sweden for "punching way above its weight" in the global refugee crisis.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,375
jobs available