Rail strike in Sweden called off at the 11th hour
A rail strike that was planned to start on Monday 15 May in Sweden was called off after the parties agreed on a settlement. The dispute was between the Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees (SEKO) and employer organisation Almega Tagforetagen. “The union considers that the settlement is good enough and that the implementation of a strike would not lead to a better settlement”, SEKO mentioned.
SEKO and Almega found an agreement that includes a 7,4 per cent increase in salary and provisions over a two-year period, as the union stated. Moreover, the agreement introduces a new regulation that makes it more difficult for employers to carry out late schedule changes, which was one of the main bones of contention during negotiations.
As SEKO explained, employers had the option of changing schedules based solely on business needs, whereas, from now on, employers need to find an agreement with the employees concerned. “The compensation to the employee is higher the closer to the working day the change is made”, Almega Tagforetagen specified.
In addition, the parties agreed on the need for joint working groups to find effective ways of shortening working hours and to raise awareness about employees working alone when carrying out accident-prone tasks. SEKO and Almega Tagforetagen, thus, pledged to seek support from both politicians and competent authorities for these specific issues.