Swedish young workers want to tip balance in favour of labour

 Youth of 6F, a collaboration between Swedish trade unions, Byggnads (building workers), Elektrikerna (electricians), Målarna (painters), Fastighetsanställdas Förbund (property employees' association) and Seko, on 17 June started a campaign against Sweden’s deteriorating working conditions and the government’s neoliberal policies. 

Using the hashtag #vilkenjävlabalans, the young workers brought their campaign to social media to expose the limits of the government’s attempt to maintain the “balance” between parties in the labour market. The young workers said that they don’t want a “false balance” which in reality favours the economic elite. They demand a labour market that will “move forward” workers’ positions and demands.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the industrial sector due to be renewed this year was postponed. Instead, the government and employers want to simply extend the existing agreement to November instead of opening it for new negotiations.

The Swedish government has also started reviewing its Employment Protection Act (LAS), which started in 2019.  A special investigator was assigned to put forward legislative proposals on how to reform the law. Many trade unions are critical to the proposals which they said threaten workers’ rights and trade unionism.  

“There is no balance today. After many years of of neoliberal politics in Sweden, the workers' situation in the labour market has radically deteriorated,” Youth of 6F said. 

“We want to narrow the economic gaps. We do not want to settle with the present. The present is not enough for workers,” Youth of 6F concluded.