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Health workers union steps up strike pressure

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16:01 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) approved an additional round of industrial action on Wednesday.

The new authorization affects the union's local divisions in Blekinge, Dalarna, Gotland, Gävleborg, Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Södermanland, Västernorrland and Örebro.

In addition, further industrial action has been authorized for local union divisions in Halland, Skåne, Uppsala, Västmanland, Västra Götaland and Västerbotten.

Local divisions which had been included in earlier authorizations, but to which no additional measures were added include Stockholm, Värmland and Östergötland, according to a statement from the labour group.

The industrial actions now authorized include all regions and county councils, as well as 40 municipalities.

“We have now been waiting more than a week for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) to contact us. To speed up the process toward reaching a lawful agreement, we are now moving forward with new industrial action,” writes union head Anna-Karin Eklund.

Confidence for local employers' desire to systematically develop and change the salary situation for academically qualified, female-dominated professions is very low today, Eklund claims further.

“It is always hard to decide to give notice about impending industrial action, but it is necessary in this situation. The conflict is directed toward employers but others will also be affected. If there is a conflict we will obviously accept our responsibility to society,” she said in the statement.

Preparations ahead of any looming nurses strike are in full swing at hospitals the southern Swedish county of Skåne.

Many patients there will be given ambulance rides to other hospitals should divisions at four Skåne hospitals be closed in the case of a strike.

And patients in Västerbotten County in northern Sweden will feel the action when planned operations and x-ray examinations are cancelled.

The union has said more specific information about any impending labour action will be posted on their website during the afternoon on Wednesday.

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