Workers in the warehouse for the Swedish state’s alcohol monopoly have started a wildcat strike in response to management attempts to replace the workforce with short term workers.
Management has been trying for a long time to replace the workers with casualised workers on short term contracts, but now they are using the recession as an excuse for laying off workers, while they continue to hire agency staff. The workers have received little help or interest from their trade union; after a demonstration outside the LO (mainstream trade union federation) headquarters they were promised a meeting with LO representatives, but this was never fulfilled.
The workers have refused to return to work and have been joined in their strike by supporters from the local branch of the SAC and individuals from the extra-parliamentary left.
A blockade of the warehouse was successful between five this morning until two in the afternoon when police helped the management to sneak scabs in the back door. Police have taken the unusually hostile step of classifying the action as a demonstration rather than a workplace conflict, which gives them increased powers to harass the strikers.
This is a tactic that is often used against strikers from the syndicalist union SAC but is not typically used against workers from the LO (mainstream) trade unions. The strike continues tomorrow when there will be a national day of action. The strikers are expected to be supported by SAC members working in the stores of the state’s alcohol monopoly.