Wildcat strike in Stockholm

Workers tell Lagenas President Per Loath how they feel

Workers tell Lagenas President Per Loath how they feel

Workers in the warehouse for the Swedish state’s alcohol monopoly have started a wildcat strike in response to management attempts to replace the workforce with short term workers. Management has been trying for a long time to replace the workers with casualised workers on short term contracts, but now they are using the recession as an excuse for laying off workers, while they continue to hire agency staff. The workers have received little help or interest from their trade union; after a demonstration outside the LO (mainstream trade union federation) headquarters they were promised a meeting with LO representatives, but this was never fulfilled. The workers have refused to return to work and have been joined in their strike by supporters from the local branch of the SAC and individuals from the extra-parliamentary left.

A blockade of the warehouse was successful between five this morning until two in the afternoon when police helped the management to sneak scabs in the back door. Police have taken the unusually hostile step of classifying the action as a demonstration rather than a workplace conflict, which gives them increased powers to harass the strikers. This is a tactic that is often used against strikers from the syndicalist union SAC but is not typically used against workers from the LO (mainstream) trade unions. The strike continues tomorrow when there will be a national day of action. The strikers are expected to be supported by SAC members working in the stores of the state’s alcohol monopoly.

thanks to Altemark for the info.

I am proud, but not content!

"I am proud, but not content!"

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~ by swedishzine on June 16, 2009.

One Response to “Wildcat strike in Stockholm”

  1. Couldn’t make it there today, but here are the latest news.

    Police this morning had sealed off the entire loading area with riot fences, and helped bring in strike breakers from temp workers agencies by the back way along a railroad track. Yesterday there were about 50 riot police hidden close by in the industrial area ready to go into action. Faced with this, the strikes and Friends of the Lagena Workers decided to move their blockade to the systembolaget HQ in central Stockholm. At the same time thousands of leaflets have been handed out outside systomblaget stores around sweden.

    Even though people still are working loading cargo at the warehouse, they are still not as skilled as the regular workers and they are still short of hands. Syndicalists working at systembolaget could confirm that the supply of goods is seriously affected in many places in middle Sweden, the stores being behind schedule several hours at most places. The stores are closed both friday and saturday during midsummer (the weekend when the alcohol consumption is absolutely highest during the year) today and tomorrow which makes today and tomorrow vital for the struggle.

    Media coverage is not as big, but still the threat of “nubben” being unavailable in stores still fires the headlines. Nubbe is another word for snaps, a small shot of strong liquor which is repeatedly consumed, usually to a meal of pickled herring. Nothing good can come out of this as you understand, but it is good clean fun.

    Anyway – latest news is that sympathizers in Gävle, home town of Joe Hill, have occupied the loading bay of a systembolaget store in solidarity with the strike.

    Letters of solidarity have come in from the mine workers locals in northern Sweden, the independent dockers union, bakery workers, service- and communication workers’ in Stockholm, lots of of SAC locals and syndicates, like the industrial workers’ syndicate of SAC and the section at systembolaget.

    An account has been setup for a solidarity fund to help the striker’s that might be facing fines for bogus charges by the police as well as the damages that the wildcat nature of the strike will lead to.

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