• Sweden's news in English
 

Sweden Democrats barred from union posts

Published: 14 Jul 2014 09:11 GMT+02:00

An investigation by newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) published on Monday found that many trade unions forbid members of the Sweden Democrat party (Sverigedemokraterna, SD) from taking official positions - which are otherwise elected offices. 

While one union chairman said unions which do not do so are "weak", a political scientist said the situation presents a challenge for democracy.

The investigation found that six of the 14 affiliates refused to grant a position to Sweden Democrat members, even in politically independent associations. 

"SD's politics contravene our by-laws," Transport union chairman Lars Lindgren told the paper. "One can't represent those politics and our members simultaneously."

The numbers were even more dramatic for the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), which has strong ties to the Social Democrat party. Twelve of the 14 LO unions banned Sweden Democrat members from having an official position.

Ann-Katrin Löfwenhamn was a board member of Unionen, one of Sweden's largest unions, in Dalarna for two years. But when her political views were discovered, her job was made difficult for her, she claims. She left her position two weeks ago.

"It was my own choice," Löfwenhamn told DN. "I need some peace and quiet. I sat on the board of directors for two years and did a good job. But as soon as they heard that I belonged to SD, I no longer had the right values according to certain people. It's ignorance on their side."

Ann-Cathrine Jungar, a political scientist at Södertörn University in Stockholm, said that the trade unions' behaviour was an extension of the governing parties' choice to exclude SD from negotiations - but that such methods were likely to backfire.

"There is a democratic problem when members cannot be represented by those they choose," Jungar told the newspaper. "It strengthens the party's image of being antagonised by the establishment."

Lars Lindgren however disagreed.

"If you don't take a position for everyone's equal worth, it's like saying you can just take your members' money and forget about the rest. It's cowardly."

For more stories about Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
1,000 jobs to go at Swedish energy giant
Swedish energy giant Vattenfall is to cut 1,000 jobs. Photo: TT

1,000 jobs to go at Swedish energy giant

UPDATED: One thousand workers are set to be let go after Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall announced major staff cuts on Tuesday morning, in a bid to curb costs. READ  

Why Americans trust Swedish companies

Why Americans trust Swedish companies

Swedish companies can do almost no wrong - at least in the eyes of Americans - according to a recent survey by The Local, which also reveals that Americans’ love of Sweden extends across many areas. READ  

Sweden's Zlatan set to stay on with Paris side
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona last week. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/TT

Sweden's Zlatan set to stay on with Paris side

Sweden's top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to remain with his French club side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the club's owner has announced. READ  

Presented by Saco
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
Photo: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'

Countless degree holders who move to Sweden struggle to get their credentials recognized and find work. The Local speaks to a Swedish union group trying to change that. READ  

Sweden calls for ‘urgent’ international nuclear ban
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Sweden calls for ‘urgent’ international nuclear ban

UPDATED: Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has renewed Swedish calls for a global ban on nuclear weapons as the United Nations begins a major review of the industry. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden is ruled by unelected policy plotters'
The Swedish government and parliament buildings. Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

'Sweden is ruled by unelected policy plotters'

Sweden has long been seen as the epitome of a healthy democracy. But in this week's debate article, three researchers argue that an increase in unelected behind-the-scenes operators is threatening accountability in the Swedish political sphere. READ  

Sweden leads health warning for obese mums
Most mums in Sweden are not overweight. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/Image Bank Sweden

Sweden leads health warning for obese mums

Fitness-consious Sweden has one of the lowest rates of obesity in Europe, but a study of more than 1.2 million children in the Nordic nation has warned that overweight mums are putting their offspring at risk of getting childhood diabetes. READ  

Spotify chief unveils Sweden innovation bash

Spotify chief unveils Sweden innovation bash

Spotify founder Daniel Ek and Avicii's manager Ash Pournouri are set to launch a major new tech and music event to reflect Stockholm's status as a lucrative hive of start-up activity, Billboard reports. READ  

The Local List
The ultimate guide to Sweden's party leaders
The outgoing leader of Sweden's Christian Democrats, Göran Hägglund, with the new leader, Ebba Busch Thor. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The ultimate guide to Sweden's party leaders

Two are pregnant, four are under 40 and nearly half are women. The Local's beginners' guide to Swedish political leaders reveals who has clung on to power and whose heads have rolled in the months since Sweden's general election in September 2014. READ  

Sweden Democrats boot seven in extremism row
From left, Sweden Democrat youth leaders Gustav Kasselstrand and William Hahne on Monday. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats boot seven in extremism row

Seven people have been expelled from the Sweden Democrats - including the two heads of the nationalist party's youth wing - in a row over far-right extremism, the party announced on Monday afternoon. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Forshaga
National
Here's how a Swede became the world's boxing champion
National
Swedes bask in early summer sun
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Leonore meets Pope Francis
VIDEO: How did these Swedish cops become New York heroes?
Blog updates

24 April

Editor’s blog, April 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Spring has well and truly arrived, as evidenced by the start of strawberry season. The..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Five crucial things you need to know before you move to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: April 25th
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
How the Stockholm School of Economics changes expat lives
National
What's on in Sweden: April 23rd - 30th
Business & Money
Is this Sweden's priciest flat ever?
National
Brits in Sweden face NHS black hole
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Business & Money
The Swedish regions where you're least likely to stay jobless
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd
Sport
Sweden's Eriksson joins row over foreign England player quotas
National
MEP says ignoring migrant crisis like 'Sweden's Holocaust appeasement'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Swedish mining town that's being moved
National
How much would you pay for first Swedish strawberries of 2015?
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Photo: TT
National
Get set for a sunny week in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
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

3,330
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
?>