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Union: No end in sight for Swedish train strike

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The noticeboard in Malmö Central Station spells out the grim news for affected passengers. Photo: Patrick Reilly
17:00 CEST+02:00
IN PICTURES: As the third day of train strikes in southern Sweden comes to an end, a union spokesman says there's no end in sight. Meanwhile, we chat to some of the 75,000 people who've been left to find other transport options.
On Monday morning, around 250 workers on the southern Sweden train lines went on strike. By Wednesday, the strike showed no signs of stopping and the future looked grim. A spokesperson at the union said he could see no end in sight.
 
"Your guess is as good as mine," Erik Sandberg, press officer at the Seko union, told The Local. 
 
"But we're durable."
 
Commuters are unlikely to see a change anytime soon, however, as Seko plans to extend their strike this week to include the Krösatågen service in Småland, Kustpilen in Östergötland and the regional Pågatågen service across Skåne.
 
 
Sandberg explains that the 250 employed workers, from ticket collectors to drivers, were upset to be effectively fired and rehired - from full time salaries to being on-call and paid by the hour.
 
 
"They have to sit and wait by the phone. If they don't answer, they get blacklisted. It means they feel like they can't even go and look for other jobs in case they miss a phone call," Sandberg said.
 
"They can't live their lives like this, and we don't want this to become the norm for the Swedish labour market."
 
Meanwhile, some passengers told The Local that they were surprised to even hear that a strike was taking place. 
 
"You don't really expect to see strikes going on in Sweden but you can understand if people's salaries are being affected. In Holland we tend to reach a compromise with the unions and the government to prevent these kind of things happening," said Dutchman Mike Raymond. 
 

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But Swedes were more supportive of the measure, with many in Malmö Central Station backing the union's move.
 
"The staff don't get paid enough compared to the hours that they work so that isn't fair," said Elisabeth Larsson (pictured above). 
 
She added; "Of course I sympathize with people who have been affected by the strike but they have buses. They are right to strike and I for one support them 
 
Trains from Malmö have also stopped running to Gothenburg, Kalmar, and even one the Snälltåget line to Stockholm. 

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