What is happening in the SAC?

An article from 1995 describing internal conflict and budget issues in the SAC, a Swedish syndicalist union.

The following article was originally published in the newspaper Arbetaren, March 1995. We have translated it from SAC's internal bulletin number 4-1995 (now called Syndikalisten, the same name as the paper of the Norsk Syndikistisk Forbund) After this was written, about 2000 workers of the SAC have left the Organisation.

The SAC is now being shaken by the most serious internal conficts since the end of the 1920's. Two local branches (LS) have already decided to leave the Organisation: Six branches have decided to withold dues to the central Organisation until the Central Committee calls a new Congress and suspends the increase of dues. In another ten, or so branches the members are now voting over what their position will be.

The reasons for the crisis can be traced a long way back. There has for a long time been discontent in many branches over the cost of the central activity. After the 1987 Congress decided to raise dues, a number of smaller branches either left the organisation or were expelled. Among these were Ludvika Farila, and Torsby. These have organised themselves in the "Fri Facklig Samarbetsorganisasjon.(FFS).

The economy of the SAC has lately become even worse. One thing is that the number of members paying dues has been somewhat reduced,another thing is that the dues have been little increased, and not altered from 1990 to 1995.

The SAC's newspaper Arbetaren is nmning at a loss which has made the situation worse. For a long time these losses-in the later years between two and three million Swedish crowns per year have been covered by the profits of the (SAC owned) printing house Tryckeri AB Federativs. This printing house, the publishers Federativs and SAC property Sveavagen 98 in Stockholm have been orgamsed as one cornpany. The printing house and the property have traditionally run at a profit, while the newspaper and the publishers have run at a loss. The system has been a means of securing SAC's ability to both publish newspapers and books.

However, Federativs printers have during the last few years run at a loss, and later broke even, with the result that the economy has landed in trouble. The SAC has been forced to contribute money. 1994 ended with a profit of 800 000 crowns for the printers, while the budgeted profit for 1995 is over a million. However, these results are still not good enough to cover the loss in the newspaper.

SAC's Congress in 1994 decided by a big majority to to publish the newspaper in spite of the cost. The same Congress decided to reduce the number of full time district officials (ombudsman) from ten to "at least seven", the question to be investigated in the course of the autumn.

These officals are employed on five-year contracts. Three of these expired during 1994. The Executive Committee (AU) after consulting the officials, to extend these contracts until it had been decided how many district officials there would be in the future. As time passed and nothing was decided during the autumn, the contracts were extended to 28th February 1995. Questions were being asked in many of the branches and districts concerned on what was really going on- there had never been any consultations between the districts and the SAC centrally on the question of the full-time officials.

The Congress decision necessitated an increase of dues, but to consolidate this, it was not voted at the Congress, but at a general ballot among the membership in the autumn. By an extremely narrow margin, the ballot decided to increase the dues by 40 crowns for full-paying members. The ballot led to sharp reactions, 19 branches demanding in December a new ballot. The demand was for the postponement of the mcrease of the dues until a National Conference on the economy of the SAC was held. The Central Committee discussed the demand at a meeting in the middle of January, and decided to prepare a National Conference. It decided not to freeze the dues increase ,but to take out only 20 crowns from January 1996 and another 10 from January 1997. The Central Committee decided to inform the critical branches of these compromise decisions, and to hold a referendum quickly if they were dissatisfied.

The committee decided also to assist the SAC press with one million to the magazine Syndikalisten (SAC's internal bulletin) and one million to the newspaper, contributions which implied that both would have to cut their costs. A further half million is budgeted, but to be paid only on specified application. The committee decided lastly that the number of the district officials should be 8,5. Until the members could vote over who should have the appointments, the jobs would be offered the former officials, but on short-term contracts.

However, the decisions of the Central Committee did not satisfy those who had been discontented. Active members from about 20 branches (LS) assembled on the 10th-11th February at a conference in Grangesberg. They found that the earlier demand for a referendum was not good enough. The majority of those present supported the demand that the Central Committee should summon an Extra Congress. The dues and the present number of officials should be frozen until the congress be held. They demanded also that the economical decisions of the former congress- including support to the newspaper- be frozen. The majority recommended also the branches to withold their dues to the SAC until the Central Committee accepted its demands.

After the conference in Grangesberg, several branches have voted over its recommendations. Sundsvall and Ramsele branches have decided to leave the SAC. Vaxjo, Stensele, Eslov, Helsmgborg, Snapphanebygden and presumably Lund branches have decided to withhold affiliation dues. Eskilstuna branch supports the Grangesberg demands, but will pay its dues. Sveg and Bollnas branches declared that they will for the time being accept the decision of the Central Committee meeting in January. Ballots are still taking place in several other branches, including Alvdalen.

Jonas Fogelqvist,
For the Swedish Workers Centre
From Syndikalisten 7/8-1995
SAC internal Bulletin

Taken from flag.blackened.net

Posted By

Juan Conatz
Jun 3 2012 22:22

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R Totale
Jun 29 2018 18:08

From The Autonomous Revolutionary Nordic Alliance:

"Towards a General Strike from Below

Things are rapidly proceeding in Sweden with the Social Democrats moving further to the right every day even as their party crumbles. The Social Democratic union, LO, the academics trade union confederation TCO and the Swedish Confederation of Employers (Svenskt Näringsliv) have from nowhere presented a deal to "Save the Swedish model" by inhibiting the right to strike. This deal is nothing but an attack on the working class and it's ability to fight back and gain some power in the everyday dictatorship that is capitalist work. This is class struggle in the clearest sense: on the one side the rich, the politicians, high level union bureaucrats, the state and the whole employing class and on the other us - we who have to sell our work to survive.

The struggle to protect the right to strike is proceeding at a rapid pace and within our grasp is the chance to push for a general political strike from below, an event that is unheard of in Sweden. The Strike Back action promises a space for radical political opposition from below and from the left, a situation that is sorely needed in these times of reaction. There is an amazing movement of rank-and-file members within many unions and by unorganised workers and we want to be a part of this and aid in pushing it further towards victory and autonomy. As always, we go to the streets not just with the aim of winning in this moment but in creating common experiences and common power for the future.

We must take to the streets and push the general strike into life itself, not just as this event, but as a mass refusal of the world of the bosses. This is not just a Swedish situation: similar events occur in Norway with the attacks on the Dockworkers there, in Finland where years of austerity have reigned but there have been intense moments of base-level struggle and in Denmark whose reactionary developments in Social Democracy but simultaneous promising developments in radical unions seems like a mirror to hold up to Swedish society. Across the whole of Europe the right to strike is attacked, austerity is imposed and we are told that this is the only way. This is not the case. As internationalists we realize that the struggle in one place affects struggle everywhere and in particular the Nordic countries affect each other. That is why we call everyone to Stockholm not as the end of a campaign but as the start of a new development on the scale of northern Europe to seize the initiative and to get to the meaning of the word strike: refusal, refusal of capitalist politics as usual.

We must create a French situation where struggle in the streets and strikes in the workplaces together create a social movement which not just stops attacks on the working class but opens up a political space for offense, for winning. We believe that the perspective of logistics is a promising arena for intervention and encourage all organizations and affinity groups to lock down the logistics of capital, to stop this machinery of domination and money, and strike back in Stockholm 25/8 and beyond. Let's create Paris in Stockholm, let's create a new world in the refusal of this one!

There are trips organized in many cities, such as Oslo, Copenhagen, Malmö and Helsinki. Keep an eye on our Facebook page ( https://www.facebookcorewwwi.onion/AutonomousRevolutionaryN… ) for more information."

Obviously I don't know the situation well enough to really be able to evaluate their take on it, but would it be worth posting this or something else as a news article to have something on the current Swedish situation that's a bit easier to find than a discussion in the comments on a 2012 repost of a 1995 article?

Steven.
Jun 29 2018 19:26

Yeah RT I was about to say could you please post that up as a news article?