Sweden strikes averted, CBA deal finally struck

APM Terminals Gothenburg APM Terminals Gothenburg has been acutely affected by strike action in the past. Credit: APM Terminals
Industry Database

A mass strike involving workers across multiple ports in Sweden has been called off following the resolution of a long running collective bargaining agreement (CBA) battle that will see port operations resume as normal.

The Ports of Sweden and the Swedish Dockworkers Union/Swedish Harbor Workers' Union entered into a secondary CBA agreement on 5 March. The deal follows strike action in January after mediation talks to secure a CBA fell apart, however the dispute has been ongoing since 2016.

Joakim Ärlund, director of negotiations at the Ports of Sweden, said that the secondary agreement “means that the terms and conditions for employment of all port workers in the ports will continue to be regulated by our collective bargaining agreement with the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union, which is the agreement first made in the industry.”

Resolution relief

Henrik Kristensen, managing director of APM Terminals Gothenburg, which has seen significant disruption as a result of past strike action, said: “We are very pleased with this agreement and with the fact that the industrial action has been called off.

“APM Terminals Gothenburg is now committed to serving our customers and contributing to the local economy and we are convinced that this agreement will enable all parties to jointly work on this objective.”

In January, the Swedish Harbor Workers' Union it said it had rejected a proposed deal because it would mean giving up its right to participate in and negotiate contracts as well as the right to take action if agreements are violated by the employer.

It also accused Ports of Sweden of escalating the dispute with “massive lockouts”.

Erik Helgeson, spokesperson for the Swedish Harbor Workers' Union, stated: “The strike and the lockout was called off yesterday as we reached a solution and signed a national CBA for the first time in 47 years.”

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