10,000 kronor Christmas boost for all Swedish rail staff

Staff of Sweden's national rail network will each receive a 10,000 kronor Christmas bonus for helping its spectacular recovery from near-bankruptcy four years ago.

“The employees of course are very happy to receive 10,000 kronor,” said Carl-Gustav Olsson, spokesperson for the Swedish rail company SJ, on Saturday.

It is the first time in the network’s history that every member of staff, from the boardroom to the workers on the rails, has received such a boost to pay.

“The employees worked hard for many years to make SJ profitable,” Olsson told AFP.

In 2002, the nationalised enterprise accumulated a deficit of 994 million kronor and was close to a declaration of bankruptcy. In 2005, SJ declared profits of 566 million kronor and in the first nine months of 2006 made 282 million kronor profits.

Since 2002, 600 staff have been made redundant. The bonus is also part of a new business plan with administrative reforms and better salaries.