international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Sweden: Amendments of Swedish legislation limit the right to strike against employers that are bound to a collective bargaining agreement with another trade union

A lengthy labour conflict occurred during 2018 and 2019 in Swedish ports. The Swedish Dockworkers Union demanded their own collective bargaining agreement with the employer organisation Ports of Sweden, which was already bound to a collective bargaining agreement with Swedish Transport Workers’ Union which covered the same type of work. The conflict led to several strikes in Swedish ports. Following this conflict, legislative changes of the Co-Determination in the Workplace Act came into force on 1 August 2019 stipulating that employees may only under certain conditions conduct or participate in industrial actions against an employer bound to a collective bargaining agreement. The purpose of the industrial action must be to enter into a collective bargaining agreement in relation to the employer and the parties must have conducted prior consultations regarding the demands. Lastly, it may not be demanded that the current collective bargaining agreement of the employer is removed by the collective bargaining agreement that is attempted to be entered into following the industrial action.