Saab chair apologises to employees

Saab chairman Victor Muller arrived in Trollhättan on Tuesday to brief employees on the cooperation with Chinese firm Pang Da and to apologise for the turbulence of recent weeks.

“He said he was very sorry for putting Saab in this situation and making us go through all of this,“ said Björn Askhem who has been a Saab employee since 1978.

Unshaven and alone on the stage, Muller solemnly promised that it wouldn’t happen again.

“It was strong of him,“ Askhem said to news agency TT.

However, Muller couldn’t say for sure when the factory would start production again.

But in his speech he said that they are hoping to have production lines going again as soon as possible. Maybe in a week or two, depending on how fast negotiations with suppliers could be completed.

“The best thing about the Pang DA agreement is that we have bought ourselves some time and will be able to produce more cars. Also we have secured the funds to be able to negotiate with our suppliers,” Muller told news agency TT after the meeting.

But at IAC Group Sweden, one of Saab’s biggest suppliers, 200 people are still scheduled to lose their jobs.

“We haven’t begun any negotiations with Saab. They haven’t contacted us. For us the situation is unchanged,“ Marcus Nyman CEO at IAC told TT.

The news about Saab’s cooperation with Pang Da ‘brings some hope’ Nyman told TT.

“But as far as I understand nothing has happened. We have no information that says this might solve our problems. Saab’s debt to us is still not settled,“ said Nyman.

Plastal, another supplier that was forced to let 50 employees go on Friday due to Saab’s inability to confirm when production can commence again, hasn’t head anything either.

“Until we know that they have found a solution that guarantees production, we have to let go of our people,” CEO Per-Ewe Wendel told TT, though added he has been hard to reach all day.

According to Saab’s information department in Trollhättan, production is expected to begin again in around two weeks.

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Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.