Electricians’ strike threatens broadband and TV

At five o'clock on Friday morning Sweden's electricians began strike action after negotiations with employer representatives broke down.

The Swedish Electricians Union rejected a mediation proposal put forward on Thursday afternoon, despite its acceptance by the Association of Energy Employers (EFA).

The conflict was sparked by disagreement over the right to take industrial action against companies which join the employers’ organisation.

An agreement between the union organisation LO and the Confederation of Swedish Employers – which was aimed at avoiding conflict over the conditions for foreign companies joining a Swedish employers’ association – was interpreted differently by the union and the employers.

“We would be letting go of a very strong rule which we fought for in the agreement last year, without getting anything back. We can’t accept that,” said Tommy Olausson at the Swedish Electricians Union.

The union has now begun an overtime ban for all EFA companies, as well as a walkout on all work for companies connected to the EFA within industry, the broadband network and in the energy sector.

“It could mean that TVs and telephones stop working and the internet doesn’t work. It could also mean unlit streets in the main cities,” said EFA managing director Björn Tibell.

The Electricians Union has called for solidarity among electrical installation workers at up to 200 industrial companies with over 100 employees in the west of Sweden.

TT/The Local