Hotel workers call for strike

Swedish consumers could face yet more inconvenience from unions in May after the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union (HRF) called a strike at 18 hotels and restaurants in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

The strike call comes after negotiations with employers’ representatives broke down.

“We are terribly disappointed,” said HRF spokesman Daniel Färm.

The 1,085 workers called out on strike from May 8th include people employed at “several large and well-known hotels and restaurants in the major cities,” said Färm.

Employers were puzzled by the strike call.

“Our impression is that we are very close to each other. We have had a constructive dialogue and we have made the biggest pay offer on the whole market,” said Mats Hulth, head of employers’ organization SHR.

Hulth said SHR had offered wage increases of 13.1 percent over three years, while the unions demanded 13.7 percent.

“We’re sorry about this. We are in agreement about all general terms and conditions in the deal. It’s just the wage level, and on this we could not go further,” he said. Hulth added that he expected a mediator to be appointed on Friday.

The news comes after unions representing shopworkers called a strike for 14th May.