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Sweden Democrat expelled from union

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09:27 CET+01:00
A Sweden Democrat elected as a municipal councillor in southeastern Sweden has been expelled from a union representing transportation and security workers because of his involvement in the party.

Sweden Democrat Björn Fälth, who was elected to the municipal council in Vetlanda southeast of Jönköping, has been expelled from the Swedish Transport Workers' Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet, Transport).

The union's local section made the request on the grounds that Fälth "supports activities that are incompatible with the organisation's goals."

Transport's executive committee has now endorsed the local union's request and has confirmed Fälth's expulsion from the union, reported the newspaper Vetlanda-Posten.

Transport is one of the trade unions that has acted firmly against members who are active in Sweden Democrats in moves that have included expulsion.

Martin Viredius, responsible for political affairs at the union, explained that it is not just about the party's past in the extreme-right movement nor that the party stands for policies that are contrary to Transport's core values.

"Our struggle is about equality for everyone, where everyone has equal payment for the same job. The simplification the Sweden Democrats express about this development may tempt many of our members. And if we accepted this, the trade union movement would go out on a downward slope," he said.

There is also a fear that the Sweden Democrats' xenophobic rhetoric will take root among the members, in the wake of concern that more jobs will disappear as truck drivers from eastern Europe or staffing agencies hire foreign workers.

"This is something that few parties are discussing, but many of our members are unfortunately exposed to supporting xenophobia," he added.

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