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Journalist strike called off

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Journalist strike called off
11:54 CEST+02:00
A last-minute agreement has been reached between Swedish journalists' union SJF and the Swedish Newspaper Publishers' Association over new pay and conditions for the country's journalists.

The deal means that industrial action planned to start at 12pm on Thursday has been called off. The action would have forbidden staff from putting material on newspaper websites, something employers described as a strike, but which the union described as 'industrial action.'

The union has also called off other industrial action already underway. The action included overtime bans at many papers.

The new three-year pay deal gives journalists average wage increases of 10.2 percent.

"We have every reason to be pleased," said SJF leader Agneta Lindholm Hulthén as she emerged from negotiations.

A major issue in the conflict was minimum wages for journalists. Lindholm Hulthén said the deal meant that many of the journalists currently on low wages would be on salaries of 25,000 kronor within three years.

Björn Svensson, chief negotiator for the Swedish Newspaper Publishers' Association (TU) said his priority in negotiations had been "creating good conditions for the development of newspaper publishers and their employees - with maintained commitment to quality journalism. This we have achieved."

Svensson said the agreement meant major "commitment and strain" for newspaper publishers:

"But we hope nonetheless that we have laid the foundations for a new phase, in which the parties can focus on their common interest in the future and in development."

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