A proposal in the right direction but problems that need a solution on the European level persist

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Wanja Lundby-Wedin, President of the LO, on the findings of Swedish Government’s inquiry into the consequences of the Laval case:

It is positive that the inquiry lays down that the Swedish model can continue to apply even in the future. It will be possible to apply our model - implying that trade unions and employers negotiate and agree on wage and working conditions - also to foreign companies taking their own workforce to Sweden on a temporary basis. It is therefore hard to understand that the inquiry proposes a loophole for unserious companies that want to dump wages by showing up false agreements, Wanja Lundby-Wedin says.

- The task of the trade unions is to work for the best possible wages and working conditions for employees on the Swedish labour market. We also want to counteract that workers from other countries get poorer conditions. The Government is now responsible for ensuring that the trade unions’ possibilities of assuming this task are not restricted.

- We assume that the Government will not accept the loophole proposed by the inquiry and that it will thus not be included in the Government bill. This is entirely unnecessary for Sweden to be able to live up to the requirements of the EU law. If it were introduced, Sweden would go further than the EJC requires. In practice the loophole means that the Swedish wages and working conditions will be optional for unserious companies which declare that they apply equivalent conditions. Many foreign workers will then lack any protection in Sweden. If the Government stops the loophole for unserious companies, the inquiry’s proposal should become law as soon as possible.

- We cannot ourselves in Sweden solve all the problems that the EJC decision has caused. The EJC decision in the Laval case is a serious limitation of the core labour standards. It is a European problem that can only be solved by way of modifications in the EU law, LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin says.

- Sven-Otto Littorin, the Swedish Minister for Employment, will be in Brussels on Monday to meet with the Ministers for Employment from other EU countries. He cannot then declare that Sweden has now solved the problems caused by the Laval case. Instead, he and the Swedish Government must demand a revision of the Posting Directive as well as work for the adoption of a social clause.