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OFFBEAT

Swedish CEO ‘lays himself off’ rather than fire more workers

The head of a manufacturing company in Örnsköldsvik in eastern Sweden decided he’d rather quit than lay off more employees.

Mats Melbin had already let 25 employees go from Örnalp Unozon in January when he learned that an additional 35 employees would likely have to lose their jobs in order to cut costs.

The combined cuts would have cut the total number of employees at Örnalp Unozon in half.

But Melbin had had enough after the first round of job cuts, and opted instead to tender his own resignation, reports the Örnsköldsviks Allehanda newspaper.

“He advocated for a reduction in employees’ working hours instead of giving them notice. He refused to fire any more people and carry out the decision of the parent company Vinovo,” said the union steward to the newspaper

The head of the Vinovo investment company, which owns 91 percent of Örnalp Unozon, said the decision resulted from a disagreement between Melbin and the company’s board.

“I’d like to express it as a problem of confidence due to a lack of consensus between the board and the CEO,” Vinovo chief David Malmström told Örnsköldsviks Allehanda.

Vinovo has already named a new CEO to take over operations at Örnalp Unozon.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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