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What if Union is not showing interest to help

whom to complain on union

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peter.stockholm
post 31.Oct.2016, 06:55 PM
Post #1
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Hi,
I have a strange situation that, i have a work related issue for few weeks to discuss with union with whom i have been member for more than 3 years, and union is disinterested to help.
I was just asking for advice and someone from union to listen, agree or disagree with what i have to say and they have been ignoring my request completely. What i came to know is , when i first contacted union, they have alerted my company(I am 100% sure of this from the follow up meetings i had and reactions from the people involved) and looking at the last few weeks, they seem to support my company instead of me. They have become silent and perhaps hoping the issue will be resolved between employee and employer.
It is ridiculous that my simple request, to assign an advisor or schedule 30mins face to face in thier stockholm office , have been completely ignored since 3 weeks, multiple emails have not been replied. I read from forum that they are very helpful but strange situation that they ignore my request when i require their help the most. I do not see the purpose of being a paid member and not getting a simple advice from the union, when situation at work is getting worse.
Did anyone have to go through such situation. I am not sure, but looks like union seem supporting company rather than the member.
What should i do in such situation? whom to complain?
I work in IT company so you can guess, what union i am talking about.
Thanks for any tips!
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Hisingen
post 31.Oct.2016, 08:36 PM
Post #2
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

One thing is for sure my friend - you are learning the hard way about unions.
They are seldom there for the ordinary member, only for the upper echelon - look at the current leader - - - - - - -

Have you paid your subs? Yep, I thought so. That is all that really interests unions.
rolleyes.gif
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peter.stockholm
post 31.Oct.2016, 08:45 PM
Post #3
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Yes, learning it the hard way. I use to proudly say positive things about unions to many expats, on how supportive unions would be for members in sweden. Eating my own words now.
That's correct, i have been paying regularly union and akassa fee on time smile.gif
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peter.stockholm
post 31.Oct.2016, 09:43 PM
Post #4
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Cmon guys give me some good tips.
Is it so bad in sweden that employees are just puppets for employers and unions. There must be a way to shake them up a bit. I have enough reasons to make my employers worry, which have crossed the line.
I have nothing to lose here by going against my employer here and just want to fight it out rather than feeling helpless and remain calm. Just want to present my case in fair way.
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hatim
post 1.Nov.2016, 12:00 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 31.Dec.2010

It all depends what the duspute is. Union should hear you out , but just because you are a member it does not mean they have to support you unconditionally. They are there to find middle grounds.
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yet another brit
post 1.Nov.2016, 09:46 AM
Post #6
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

If you don't like the response from your local rep, then escalate to the regional/national office. Then the person you are talking to won't have a built-in conflict of interest.

The local (company) volunteer representative may well be a tad unsure if he/she is representing the company or the employees. Not least because if they make too much noise, they could end up on the shit-list themselves next time there is a reorganisation... as indeed could you...

If they go into passive agressive denial-of-communication mode, it may just mean that they just don't want to support you (ie they think whatever issue it is you are raising won't succeed) but don't have the spine to say so directly to you. And indeed are hoping it will go away.
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peter.stockholm
post 1.Nov.2016, 07:50 PM
Post #7
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Hatim to start off, i am not at all expecting they should support me fully, that is way way off.Even if they listen and give a default advice, i would be glad. Like i mentioned, they are not even responding to hear.All i am requesting is for them to hear what i have to say. They know what are the issues, cos first time this happened a year ago, language was pointed out and they were agreesive so i contacted union asking if language can be criteria to remove someone and also mentioned 4 points from the start of my employment which happened and that time, they agreed with me that employer was wrong but that time, Employer calmed down and i took it easy as well.This time i was requesting union that i have few points to discuss which happened in the last 6 months. And i get no response for last 3 weeks. I checked with someone very experienced on such issues who is not from union on those 7-8 issues, employer has broken the rules on couple of them and singled out/differentiated on couple more which was wrong.Though i do not want to discuss the issues here, they have done some incorrect things which would never be done on a local swede.

Thank you "yet another Brit". I will check for the contact details of regional/national office representative and contact them. I didnt get any response from local rep. Just like you wrote in the last paragraph, that is what is happening exactly. Hoping it will all go away is the current status.
From employer,It was very agreessive to start off, like there was a preplan exit plan, i contacted union asking for advice and then completely passive next 3 times.The problem is, this will arise after few months, if i dont escalate or deal with it now. And knowing that union is not helping now. For sure, i will have to fight a lonely battle then.
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peter.stockholm
post 1.Nov.2016, 08:43 PM
Post #8
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Swedish at work and English with Union.
Does language matter to union when communicating?
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peter.stockholm
post 1.Nov.2016, 09:09 PM
Post #9
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

Ok point noted. I knew how language has different affects on people in sweden but it did not click at all when i contacted them. dry.gif
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Hisingen
post 2.Nov.2016, 02:03 PM
Post #10
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

Goodness gracious me!

A posting from the Local's lacky - their PR employee savage - in which there was not a single word.
Must have pressed the wrong button for once.

May we hope more of the same?

If so, the Local might become a better place - but only might.
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Genaro
post 2.Nov.2016, 10:47 PM
Post #11
Joined: 30.Mar.2015

QUOTE (Savage @ 1.Nov.2016, 07:50 PM) *
Yes,It can have an effect on different people and how they treat you in Sweden.Ranging from, Nepotism, confidence, xenophobia, uneducated and so onAnd this can be used as a hi ... (show full quote)


Apathy rules.
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LLHope
post 3.Nov.2016, 06:27 PM
Post #12
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Savage @ 1.Nov.2016, 08:50 PM) *
Yes, It can have an effect on different people and how they treat you in Sweden. Ranging from, Nepotism, confidence, xenophobia, uneducated and so on And this can be used as ... (show full quote)
You certainly do try to push the racist angle!!! blink.gif either you have one big chip on your shoulder, or just get a kick out of trying to wind people up.

I have dealt with Trade Unions here in Sweden from both sides of the fence, employee seeking advice and also as employer negotiating. I have done so in writing, phone, face-to-face. Mainly in English, occasionally in Swedish, over more than a couple of decades (I must admit, when negotiating I try to force English to try and force them into a disadvantage wink.gif as I know Swedes are not comfortable speaking English with natural English speakers). I have absolutely NEVER encountered the things that @savage promotes. And before one cries, oh but you are English, I will add, in email and phone they certainly would NOT know from my names. (and I have never needed to change name either wink.gif absolutely would not!, just as I never want to hold Swedish citizenship)

OP, Ignore @savage. Trade Unions have limited resources. By limited I do not mean numbers, I mean limited in capability. The best ones are at the centre who work fulltime with Union matters, the local reps are often limited in their capability (knowledge and experience), plus often a conflict of interest in many matters.

Also, remember, the role of the union is 2-fold. Whilst we tend to think of them as our representative, we take that literally as OUR. The Union are like the Borg from Star Trek, it is the Collective that most often takes priority over the individual. This is also why in Sweden you remove positions not people (though not in every instance).

Most Unions have a central advice line you can call. Do not expect immediate response to emails (especially from the larger unions) as they get many requests to handle centrally. And due to time-limitations and resourcing, it isn't that easy to get face-to-face meetings on topics. Remember, whenever a company wants to remove someone, they have to inform the union the person is a member of. If there is no local rep, then the company (or its lawyer) must meet face to face with the Union to settle the path forward...the centre are already quite busy.

Call the central advice/help line. Talk to them, and see how that goes. You can always post back here for further advice.

You say attitudes changed for a period, this does indicate the union may indeed have already spoken with the employer. Do not expect it to change totally, immediately. The Union would give some kind of time-frame and follow-up, we are talking weeks and months rather than days! Heck, I know certain companies that have collective agreements and for more than 3 years so-far have not implemented everything in the agreement, they just keep agreeing an action plan with the union and wait for the follow-up and next action plan! It is cheaper for the company, and as far as everyone else is concerned they can say yes they have a collective agreement!
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peter.stockholm
post 3.Nov.2016, 08:38 PM
Post #13
Joined: 31.Oct.2016

@LLHope That was really very good advice and nice points you mentioned from your experience.
I agree, writing them in swedish would not have made them give high priority for my case.Did not know that Trade unions have limited resources and limited skillset employee. I will call them and speak.could not get to talk to them this week.
Since there are too many things to mention, it would have been good if someone listens via email but its pretty clear that they are trying to calm or slow things down for the moment,by being dormant. Thanks for the advice again:)
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