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Swedes open to pay cuts to save jobs
Many Swedes would take 'crisis deal' salary cuts

Swedes open to pay cuts to save jobs

More than half of Swedes would accept a cut in their salary if it protected against job losses in the current employment climate, a new opinion poll showed on Thursday.

Published: 07 Feb 2013 14:43 CET

In a review ordered by the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, the Ipsos pollsters found that 61 percent of those surveyed would agree to income reductions through collective wage negotiations if doing so meant avoiding making workers redundant.

The model is tried and tested in Sweden, but not wholly uncontroversial.

As the financial crisis hit in 2008, affecting the export-dependent Swedish economy, then manufacturing union boss Stefan Löfven set about negotiating an emergency deal between employers and employees who were members of the influential IF Metall union.

The "crisis deal" saw shorter working hours and lower salaries but no one lost their job.

Many of Löfven's counterparts at associated blue-collar unions were critical of the move at the time.

The results of this week's opinion poll were welcomed by employers' organization Teknikföretagen.

"It's good that there is an increased awareness of our need to be competitive in the global market," spokesman Åke Svensson told DN.

The new head of IF Metall, Anders Forbe, said he was not surprised by the result.

"With high unemployment and challenges in finding new jobs, I think this is a spontaneous reaction," he said.

By the union's own calculations, a row of crisis deals has saved between 12,000 and 15,000 Swedish jobs in the past few years.

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