Federley in salad bar swoop
Paul O'Mahony · 13 Feb 2007, 15:34
Published: 13 Feb 2007 15:34 GMT+01:00
After a two month trade union blockade, Sofia Appelgren, owner of Wild'n Fresh in Gothenburg, last week decided to sell up.
Appelgren said the pressure of the blockade became too tough, particularly when her family was dragged into the argument.
Daniel Färm, spokesman for the Hotel and Restaurant Union, said the union would not be glad if the salad bar closed.
"We want the business to continue, but with good salaries and conditions for the employees," he told The Local.
And now the business may indeed continue, but not with the owners the trade union might have envisaged.
Centre Party member of parliament Fredrick Federley sparked a heated debate when he accused the Hotel and Restaurant Union of mafia tactics in its bid to convince Appelgren to sign a collective bargaining agreement.
Writing for news site Sourze, Dominika Peczynski, who now runs the aptly named PR agency Mafioso, explains her motives for getting involved.
"Everybody knows the background, and Sofia's reasons for selling are completely understandable.
"Having angry old men and women standing outside the entrance to your company, wearing orange vests and handing out flyers about how your company is evil incarnate, would be enough to make most people puke.
"But not Fredrick and me. That's the sort of thing that gets us going," she said.
Speaking to The Local, Federley confirmed that he and Peczynski were interested in taking over the salad bar, which remains under blockade.
"It's a very good brand, probably the best known salad bar in the country. If we close the deal we plan to open in Stockholm and Malmö too," he said.
Should the pair succeed in their bid to launch a national salad bar chain they plan to rename it Wild'n Fresh by Federley/Peczynski.
And Federley hopes to be able to continue employing the current staff.
"Obviously me and Dominika can't run it. I have my seat in parliament and she has a PR agency. We would make one of the current employees manager.
"The political point is that the employees should not be forced to sign a collective bargaining agreement if they don't want to," he said.
Sofia Appelgren is currently having the business evaluated and negotiations are set to begin in the next few days. Appelgren then intends going back to college to learn more about human rights issues.
"But of course if she needs some extra work she'll be more than welcome," said Federley.