• Sweden's news in English
 
almadalen_header

Swedish union 'flouts members' wishes'

Published: 06 Feb 2014 15:08 GMT+01:00

Half of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation members voted for the union's traditional ally the Social Democrats in 2010, a percentage the unionists now want to increase to 60 in national elections in September. Spokesman Tobias Baudin also said at the confederation's annual meeting that they hoped to get half of all members to go to the ballot box in May for the European parliament elections. 

"Another Europe is possible," Social Democrat leader and former welder Stefan Löfven told news agency TT on the sidelines of the meeting. 

Some representatives of LO's 14 member unions said the continued support for the Social Democrats was problematic,as their members had clearly chosen not to support the labour party. The confederation gives about six million kronor ($920,000) annually to the opposition party, which lost its grip on power in 2006. 

"It's a question of decency that you don't give money to one party," Transport Union head Lars Lindgren told the Dagens Industri business daily on Thursday. 

LO head Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson nonetheless celebrated the historic but now weakened ties between the party and the union.

"When there is a strong headwind blowing we know we have a political friend that we can always call," he said. "They can't always deliver, that's not how politics works, but we know they are on our side." 

Tuning into his members' wishes, however, Thorwaldsson said the number one priority was to return to a "decent" level of salary insurance payments, which was one of several focus areas revealed on Thursday for the political year ahead. It is the first time LO has produced an election manifesto. 

It included state-level investment in energy, infrastructure, and housing. It reiterated the much-touted Social Democrat line of promising young job seekers either employment or an internship or further education. They also demand that Sweden tear up the Laval Law, which has allowed foreign workers to circumnavigate Swedish collective bargaining agreements while working in Sweden.

The unionists also argued that all employees have the right to work full-time, a key issue for many women employed in lower-pay jobs including in healthcare. The state should also step in and distribute more money to Sweden's counties and municipalities, LO's election charter stated. Also on local government level, publicly financed but privately run free schools should not have the right to set up where its owners want. 

The critics did not hold back. 

In the op-ed pages of the tabloid Aftonbladet, Moderate Party parliamentarian Jessica Polfjärd said that not only was LO not listening to the 750,000 members who did not vote for the Social Democrats last time around, but that the party's proposed policies were in her view detrimental to them. 

What do painters and construction workers think of restricting the tax-deduction in their field? What do transport and retail workers think about raising truck duties?," she asked as she ploughed through several of the LO unions' core members. "What do hotel workers think about doubling the restaurant VAT which would jeopardize their jobs?" 

"Why don't you listen to your members?" Polfjärd concluded in her open letter to Thorwaldsson. 

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Four
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson, speaking on Wednesday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Four

The nationalist Sweden Democrat party's leader Jimmie Åkesson has told his nation's biggest political conference that he wants to create a better county for children and crack down on extremism. READ  

IN PICTURES
Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes

Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes

Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården park was packed with tens of thousands of Swedish football fans on Wednesday afternoon as they welcomed the country’s Under-21 team home after their historic European Championship win in Prague. READ  

The Local Travel
Scary taxis lure crime freaks to Stockholm
Stockholm by night. Scary? Photo: Helena Wahlman

Scary taxis lure crime freaks to Stockholm

A new crime tour of Stockholm offers a unique glimpse of Swedish crime history from the comfort of a taxi cab. But will the pricey ride really lure tourists? The Local’s Sophie Inge investigates. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
Swedish ship rescues 104 migrants off Libya
Swedish coast guard ship Poseidon. Photo: Carmelo Imbesi/TT

Swedish ship rescues 104 migrants off Libya

UPDATED: The Swedish coast guard ship Poseidon has rescued dozens of migrants who were travelling in a rubber boat in waters off the coast of Libya’s capital Tripoli. READ  

Presented by ConnectSweden
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, Peter Dahlen.

‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’

Fourteen years ago, American Peter Dahlen was just another “love refugee” in Sweden. Today he’s the Managing Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), working hard to improve trade between Sweden and the US. The Local asked him about connectivity, trade, and life in Sweden. READ  

Interview
‘Swedish should be spoken in Sweden’
Richard Jomshof at Almedalen. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

‘Swedish should be spoken in Sweden’

Top Sweden Democrat politician Richard Jomshof tells The Local all refugees must become fluent in Swedish but “it’s okay” for foreign businesspeople to use English instead. He's also rooting for the UK to quit the EU. READ  

European Under-21 Championship
Sweden celebrates first Euro U21 title victory
Players jump Sweden's goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren after he catches the decisive penalty. Photo: TT

Sweden celebrates first Euro U21 title victory

UPDATED: Sweden was still celebrating on Wednesday after a nail biting penalty shoot-out led the country to victory over Portugal and their first European Under-21 title in history. READ  

The Local List
Nine exciting activities to do on Sweden's Gotland
Visby, Gotland. Photo: Rodrigo Rivas/Imagebank Sweden

Nine exciting activities to do on Sweden's Gotland

Gotland is in the national spotlight each summer during Sweden's annual politics forum, Almedalen. But here's why it is also one of the nation's favourite tourist spots. READ  

Lisa Holm murder
Suspect freed in Lisa Holm murder case

Suspect freed in Lisa Holm murder case

UPDATED: One of the men police have been holding on suspicion of murdering missing teenager Lisa Holm has been released, but his older brother remains in police custody. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Three
Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch Thor at Almedalen. Photo: TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Three

Sweden's youngest political leader in history, Ebba Busch Thor has called for a crackdown on homegrown terrorists and lower taxes at Almedalen, the biggest week in Swedish politics. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Almedalen: The Local's guide to Sweden's power players week
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
National
Swede battles slug invasion
Sponsored Article
What can we learn from Swedish women's sex habits?
National
VIDEO: Is this herring tasting clip an 'insult to Sweden'?
Blog updates

26 June

Editor’s blog, June 26th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, We’re about to transport our newsroom to the idyllic Swedish island of Gotland for..." READ »

 

23 June

Defending Our Interests … And Our Allies (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"This is an important week for European security, with decisions affecting Europe’s unstable Southern and Eastern..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: New royal couple Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Features
Ten Swedish festivals to discover
Features
Ten reasons Stockholm is definitely way cooler than Copenhagen
National
VIDEO: Watch Swedish man rescue baby elk from cold creek
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
Gallery
People-watching: June 10th
National
Swedish airports launch cheeky safe sex toilet campaign
Gallery
IN PICTURES: June summer snaps
Politics
Rainbow flag compared to swastika by 'sorry' Swedish councillor
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,229
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se