Garbage workers call off strike

Garbage workers call off strike
The strike by Stockholm garbage workers which began on Friday is over. Both sides claimed victory after workers returned to work on Tuesday.

“The strike is over” confirmed Hans-Göran Grännby, CEO of waste management firm Liselotte Lööf AB to news agency TT.

The Local reported on Monday that the garbage workers had been threatened with a lawsuit by their employers if they did not go back to work by the end of the day.

That threat has now been withdrawn with LLAB happy that the workers have returned to work without any noticeable effects for Stockholm residents.

According to an ombudsman at the transport workers union, the striking garbage workers took a vote and elected to return to work early on Tuesday, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

The newspaper reported that the dispute over employment conditions and pay at the centre of the conflict had not been resolved but the parties have agreed to discuss the issue.

“We have had contact with the working party set up by the lads and we have said that we can not discuss the issues as long as the wildcat strike continues,” Grännby said.

“But we are prepared to sit down and openly discuss the issues which lay behind the strike.”

Peder Murell, a garbage worker employed by Hellstens Renhållning AB, told Dagens Nyheter that the strikers had however achieved their goals and that their demands had been met by employers.

“We have basically pushed through all our demands. We have reached a verbal agreement with employers which will be put in writing as soon as we have managed to clear the mountain of garbage around the city,” he said.

38 garbage workers employed by LLAB laid down their gloves and stopped working on Friday. A further seven at rival firm Ragn-Sells had joined the strike.

The workers were protesting against new employment terms. The changes would have resulted in substantial pay cuts, garbage workers had argued.

According to LLAB, having fixed salaries will provide workers with a monthly wages of 27,000 to 29,000 kronor ($3,300 to $3,600), well over the industry average of 23,000 kronor per month.

The new terms are intended to replace a current points-based system and introduce a regular 40 hour working week.