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Union slammed for 'Nobel-like' birthday party

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Union slammed for 'Nobel-like' birthday party
Crown Princess Victoria and Ove Jansson, vice chair of the SKTF union
14:20 CEST+02:00
A Swedish labour union has come in for criticism after 4 million kronor ($622,000) on a lavish on a 75th anniversary party.

To mark it's 75th birthday, the SKTF trade union threw a lavish party at Stockholm's City Hall (Stadshuset) at the weekend for 800 invited guests.

The union also shelled out fees to attract some of Sweden's more prominent comedians such as Felix Halmgren and Johan Rheborg to entertain guests, which included Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria.

Attendees dined on a fancy three course meal and downed expensive wines in the City Hall' Blue Room, the same room where Nobel laureates and royalty eat after the prizes are handed out each year in December, the Expressen newspaper reported

"It's an expensive party, there's no way to hide it,” the group's head of administration, Torbjörn Bredin, told the newspaper.

In addition to serving as a birthday party of sorts for the union, which has more than 160,000 white collar public sector employees, the event was also meant to serve as the unveiling of the union group's new name, Vision.

“If the point was the celebrate the name change, then the party is ridiculously expensive. From a communications perspective, it was a total mental black out,” PR consultant Peter Karaszi told Expressen.

“It's one thing for a company earning profits to spend money, bu this is a union who rely on membership dues for income.”

Earlier this year, the union raised dues for members, but Bredin defended the lavish party, arguing that the costs were justified.

“It was important for us to get our message out that we're in the process of becoming a totally new union. We wanted to pep up our elected members to go out on Monday and be ambassadors for a totally new approach to the union's work,” he said.

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