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Sweden braces for traffic chaos amid strike threats

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Sweden braces for traffic chaos amid strike threats
13:59 CEST+02:00
As unions threaten to pull bus, train and underground staff, commuters may experience severe disruptions ahead of the Midsummer weekend.

A bus strike Wednesday, a halt to Pendeltåg commuter train and underground traffic in the three biggest cities on Thursday, plus a potential cleaners' strike could leave many stranded in the coming week.

Anyone considering a Midsummer makeover may also have to scupper those plans as hair dressers have warned of a walkout, too.

In total, five strikes could break out due to labour disputes.

The Kommunal union has threatened to halt bus traffic in Stockholm and in Umeå in the north on Wednesday, and the strike could also spread to other cities in the following week.

On Thursday, the Seko union may pull Pendeltåg commuter train drivers in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm, which would leave those traveling to and from Sweden's three biggest cities stranded.

The red line on Stockholm's underground network, which covers 36 stops, may also be affected.

In addition, the Seko and Fastighets unions have warned of a cleaners' strike at a number of major industry plants around the country. Seko also plans to pull over 1,000 telecoms employees on Wednesday.

In most cases employers have responded with a lockout from work places and on Sunday mediators were working intensively to resolve the disputes.

Representatives of those involved in the bus conflict planned to meet for negotiations on Sunday.

“We will see if there is a possibility for them to make an offer,” Peter Jeppsson, CEO of the Swedish Bus and Coach Employers' Association (Bussarbetsgivarna), told news agency TT.

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