Friday, June 19, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Wildcat strike in Stockholm

Wildcat strike in Stockholm
Jun 16 2009

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.

Jun 17 2009

Couldn't make it there today, but here are the latest news.

Police this morning had sealed off the entire loading area with riot
fences, and helped bring in strike breakers from temp workers agencies by
the back way along a railroad track. Yesterday there were about 50 riot
police hidden close by in the industrial area ready to go into action.
Faced with this, the strikes and Friends of the Lagena Workers decided to
move their blockade to the systembolaget HQ in central Stockholm. At the
same time thousands of leaflets have been handed out outside systomblaget
stores around sweden.

Even though people still are working loading cargo at the warehouse, they
are still not as skilled as the regular workers and they are still short
of hands. Syndicalists working at systembolaget could confirm that the
supply of goods is seriously affected in many places in middle Sweden, the
stores being behind schedule several hours at most places. The stores are
closed both friday and saturday during midsummer (the weekend when the
alcohol consumption is absolutely highest during the year) today and
tomorrow which makes today and tomorrow vital for the struggle.

Media coverage is not as big, but still the threat of "nubben" being
unavailable in stores still fires the headlines. Nubbe is another word for
snaps, a small shot of strong liquor which is repeatedly consumed, usually
to a meal of pickled herring. Nothing good can come out of this as you
understand, but it is good clean fun.

Anyway - latest news is that sympathizers in Gävle, home town of Joe Hill,
have occupied the loading bay of a systembolaget store in solidarity with
the strike.

Letters of solidarity have come in from the mine workers locals in
northern Sweden, the independent dockers union, bakery workers, service-
and communication workers' in Stockholm, lots of of SAC locals and
syndicates, like the industrial workers' syndicate of SAC and the section
at systembolaget. The facebook support group now is over 1000 members

An account has been setup for a solidarity fund to help the striker's that
might be facing fines for bogus charges by the police as well as the
damages that the wildcat nature of the strike will lead to.

Jun 17 2009

What can you do to help the workforce of Lagena?

1. You or your organisation; use this template for solidarity statements
and as soon as possible and send to:
Members of the Handels union at lagena:

The CEO of Lagena, Per Öhagen

Chairman of Lo, Wanja Lundby-Wedin

We support the demands of the workers at Systembolaget warehouse Lagena!

The workers at the Systembolaget warehouse Lagena in Jordbro is struggling
to stop the sacking of 33 employees. The company wants to replace
full-time personel and hire disposable agency staff to. This autumn
already 49 out of 150 lost their jobs.

What the workers at the warehouse are reacting to is something that is not
only a problem for themselves. Only during may, 9000 persons in Sweden
were notified that they were to lose their jobs. At the same time the
pressure at workplaces is on the increase with more precarious jobs. This
is a development that grinds down people, that destroys shoulders, knees
and hits hard against families.

The struggle at Lagena is relevant to everyone who wants to stop this
development. The Lagena workers shows us an alternative to despair.

Therefore we want to support the demands of the Lagena workers:

- The Lagena management must withdraw the planned sackings

- The conditions of the workers must not be worsened.

- The share of rental personel must not be higher than 10%

- LO should organise struggles against sackings.

2. Help collect money to support the strikers:
PlusGiro 134456-3

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