Unionen gives notice of strike

Friday 8 April 2016

The negotiations between Unionen and the employers´ organisation Almega have broken down. Unionen has thus issued a strike warning. The dispute is primarily about the right to flexible pension – flexpension. If agreement is not reached beforehand, action will start at 12.00 on Monday April 18. The notice involves total walk-outs at all the companies and workplaces concerned.

“Unionen has always been clear about the measures we will take to bring about an agreement on flexpension. If we do not reach agreement, our members will go on strike. We are ready. It is ultimately a question of justice for Unionen’s members,” states the union’s chairperson, Martin Linder.

Unionen is warning of action unless Almega can accept Unionen’s demand for annual flexpension provisions, i.e. extra pension provisions and greater possibility for reducing working hours before retirement. Last week, along with the other industrial parties, Unionen signed a normative agreement. The parties united on a one-year agreement. Valued at 2.2 per cent, this includes continued expansion of flexpension.

Unionen’s members have flexpension provisions with all the agreement sectors in the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, with the exception of those in Almega.

This is why Unionen, along with the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, has asked for flexpension provisions from all Almega’s sectors. The unions have now given strike warnings involving almost 10,000 members throughout the country.

“Unionen still wants to resolve this at the negotiating table. If Almega says it is willing to follow the normative standard, flexpension provisions should not be any problem at all,” comments Martin Linder.

The background to the notice is that Unionen’s members in Almega should have the same right as the labour market’s other white-collar workers. Currently, the members in the service sector have no entitlement to flexpension, i.e. extra pension provisions and the possibility of reducing working hours in the last years of working life. Unionen’s strike warning is a direct consequence of Almega (the Employers’ Organisation for the Swedish Service Sector) being unwilling to give service sector members the same basic opportunities for a good pension.

In total, just over 105,000 of Unionen’s members are in all the Almega sectors subject to collective agreement. Of these members, 7,200 are covered by today’s notice. The corresponding figures for the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers are 25,000 and 1,400. Almega’s five member associations covered by the notice are Swedish IT and Telecom Industries, Almega Samhall Employer Association, Almega Service Associations and Media Industries Employer Association.