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New Swedish union boss seeks welfare state boost

New Swedish union boss seeks welfare state boost

Published: 26 May 2012 16:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 May 2012 16:20 GMT+02:00

Sweden's Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen - LO) on Saturday elected as its new president Karl- Petter Thorwaldsson, who proceeded to call for a restoration of the Swedish welfare model.

Thorwaldsson replaced Wanja Lundby-Wedin who had chaired the organisation since 2000.

"We will break the back of mass unemployment," Thorwaldsson said, referring to the fact that around 7.5 percent of the labour force are current out of work.

He continued in his speech to argue that the Reinfeldt government is undermining the Swedish welfare state.

"We want to have general welfare benefits, the same for everyone. We don't differentiate between one person and another," the 47-year-old former metal-worker said.

Thorwaldsson was nominated by IF Metall, the same union from which the current leader of the Social Democrats, Stefan Löfven, was plucked.

Public sector workers' union Kommunal nominated Tobias Baudin, who was duly elected as vice chair.

Ougoing LO head Wanja Lundby-Wedin use her farewell speech to attack the government's record on the welfare state.

"The Swedish model is shaken to the core and now needs to be repaired," she claimed, referring to Alliance government policy and to the Laval ruling in EU courts.

The Laval ruling refers to a case brought by a Latvia construction company, who were awarded 2.7 million kronor (376,156) after a 2004 building project in Sweden was interrupted by a union blockade.

Lundby-Wedin called for stronger labour market policies, more state aid to counties and municipalities and an active industrial policy.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:22 May 26, 2012 by oldonpalouse
How would one label this movement for union domination? How popular is it in Sweden? Norway seems like this also. It seems human nature being what it is, if one can do nothing and be supported, it would appeal to many. Or is 'welfare state' really something different, perhaps lifetime union jobs and elder care?
19:40 May 26, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#1: mark my words, the union people are socialist space reptiles in disguise, waiting for the right moment to take over and inaugurate the New World Order. Things will be made clear on December 12 2012.
19:47 May 26, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Welfare statism combined with open immigration is collective suicide. Either of the two may be sustained for some time, but together they will lead to very rapid societal decline.
20:08 May 26, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#3: I admire your precognitive abilities, can you tell me the next winning lottery numbers as well?
00:39 May 27, 2012 by Abe L
All for creating jobs, but we already spend to much taxes on welfare. It's ridiculous that unions in Sweden still exist with this much power, time to join 2012 perhaps.

The government can quite easily create jobs by investing money in the economy rather then the IMF and other kinds of international bs funds to bail out countries that should be going bankrupt instead.
01:09 May 27, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#5: if anything, we need less tax cuts and even stronger unions before the oligarchs in the current government turn the Swedish job market into Chinese standards.
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