Petrol station owner fights for porn-free town

A trade union dispute over pornographic material has taken a new twist after a petrol station owner in northern Sweden first agreed to meet his worker's demands before embarking on a similar crusade of his own.

An OKQ8 gas station in Piteå was faced with the threat of a Syndicalist union picket after an employee complained of having to handle pornographic magazines.

“At most places of work it is perfectly natural not to have to handle porn, and that’s the way it should be everywhere,” said worker Niklas Svenlin in a statement last week.

Eventually Svenlin’s employer agreed to exempt him from the sale or handling of the magazines.

On Saturday, Mikael Åström, head of the OK Piteå association which manages the petrol station in question, decided to go a step further: all pornographic magazines were to be removed from the shelves.

“I thought we resolved the trade union work environment issue when we permitted the employee to avoid working with the magazines.

“But once the matter was raised we found that both our customers and owners were calling for a porn-free store, which made me decide to remove the magazines. So I’m not doing this because of pressure from the union,” Åström told the TT news agency.

He said he was now planning to invite local politicians in for talks with the intention of creating a network to make Piteå a porn-free municipality.