Ferry boat captains set to expand strike

The Swedish Ship Officers' Association (SSOA) has given notice that a further 27 ferry boats, primarily in the Stockholm archipelago, are due to be hit by the ongoing labor dispute between the union and the Almega employers association.

“We’re increasing the pressure further. This notice comes after the weekend’s negotiations in which we didn’t get any sympathy for our contract proposal,” said SSOA representative Hans-Dieter Grahl to the TT news agency on Tuesday.

The proposal included a wage increase of 10.2 percent for ferry boat captains, to be implemented over three years.

The new measures, which are set to take affect May 30th, will primarily affect leisure routes such and sightseeing boats.

“Simply put, this is ridiculous. It is totally irresponsible,” said Hans Ronnerstam, a negotiator for Almega.

According to him, the weekend’s meetings weren’t about negotiations.

“We were supposed to meet on Sunday for a discussion completely free of any conditions when suddenly a finished contract landed on the table. There was no willingness to come to a deal through negotiations,” he said.

Ferry operators Blidösundsbolaget, Strömma Turism and Sjöfart, and Utö Rederi will be affected by the new measures.

On Monday, the union gave notice to the Styrsöbolaget ferry company in Gothenburg that a strike and blockade of overtime work would take effect on May 29th if the conflict is not resolved.

Since last week, 27 harbour and archipelago vessels have been affected by striking boat captains in both Gothenburg and Stockholm.