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Swedish union head to leave next year

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Swedish union head to leave next year
12:43 CET+01:00
Wanja Lundby-Wedin, the chairwoman of an umbrella organisation for 15 Swedish trade unions, has announced that she will step down at its next congress in the spring of 2012.

Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen i Sverige, LO) head Lundby-Wedin made the announcement on Wednesday in the trade magazine Lag & Avtal.

Swedish Building Workers' Union (Svenska byggnadsarbetareförbundet, Byggnads) Chairman Hans Tilly has been commissioned to find a successor to Lundby-Wedin, the report said.

"He and the others on the committee have begun looking at what kind of profile they are looking for. I will meet with them next week. They are of course interested in what I think," Lundby-Wedin told the magazine.

Lundby-Wedin became the first female president of LO in 2000. She turns 60 next year and believes it is natural that she will step down then, according to the previous rules about how long an elected official should serve.

LO was founded by members of the Social Democrats in 1898. Lundby-Wedin's announcement follows that of Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin's decision in November 2010 to step down after the party's special congress scheduled for March.

Sahlin has led the party since 2007. In her bid to become Sweden's first female prime minister, she led the party to its worst election result since 1914 in September 2010.

Previously, Lundby-Wedin came under fire after she approved a bonus package worth more than 60 million kronor ($7.4 million) for former AMF Pension CEO Christer Elmehagen in 2009.

The scandal resulted in an effective pay cut of about 40 percent for Lundby-Wedin after she was forced to resign from her board memberships. The fallout also hurt the Social Democrats and Sahlin in the polls.

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