LO General Council has decided on common demands for the 2010 collective bargaining round

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The LO General Council has agreed on the demands for the 2010 round of coordinated collective bargaining. In this connection, the following statement has also been adopted.
The 2010 collective bargaining round will take place in a period of time calling for strong trade union solidarity. Employers try to make use of the financial situation in order to weaken workers’ rights and to undermine the importance of central collective agreements. By demanding zero wage increases and clauses permitting deviations from the conditions in collective agreements, they try to put the burden of the crisis on wage-earners.

If employers succeeded, this would have serious consequences for the economy of Sweden and its competitiveness. The crisis is not due to excessive wages but to a crisis of financial systems and decreased demand for export goods. Employers’ short-sightedness impedes stable wage formation and threatens industrial peace.

Our answer is solidarity and unity. The LO General Council has decided to demand real wage increases and continuous efforts in favour of equal wages in the coordinated collective bargaining. Real wage increases are necessary so that Sweden can, with confidence in the future, work itself out of the crisis and reduce unemployment. Equal pay is another obvious demand. We cannot stop fighting, not even in a recession, against structural discrimination which affects sectors with a high percentage of women. A money pot for equal pay is therefore a natural part of the common demands.

The financial crisis has also revealed the downsides in the Swedish labour market. A growing number of women have part-time employment on which they cannot earn their living. More and more people are forced to wait for the telephone to ring to be able to work a couple of hours now and then. An increasing number of young adults only get temporary employment and they are made redundant without any notice or negotiations. More and more employers evade job security by replacing redundant staff by staff from a temporary employment agency.

That is why our coordinated policy also signifies a fight for full-time employment and against unreasonably short fixed-term employment contracts. We must also make sure that the right to re-employment for those affected by redundancy is not put aside through recruitment of staff from a temporary employment agency. The brutalisation of the labour market must not continue. We must find our way back to a decent working life, with security and skills development.

The LO General Council has therefore agreed on the following joint demands for the 2010 collective bargaining round:

· Real wage increases for LO members
· A marked reduction of the wage differentials between occupations where women are predominant and those with a majority of men
· Right to full-time employment
· To strengthen workers’ rights in fixed-term employment
· To prevent companies from evading the Employment Protection Act by the use of temporary employment agencies