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Swedish Workers Fired "Out of Order"

Published torsdag 28 maj 2009 kl 13.06

 A labor market survey among Swedish companies confirms what many have suspected – that the global economic crisis is being used as an excuse to get rid of unwanted employees – despite regulations protecting them.

A hard-won battle long ago fought by the strong Swedish labor unions here  resulted in the tradition of protecting the employees with the longest time at their work place – so that the last hired would normally be the first fired in case of redundancies.

      Industry and commerce have complained that this is too rigid for a modern business world – where the youngest workers may have essential internet or other competence lacking among the old-timers.

     A changed law compensates for this some what – giving firms with fewer than 10 employees the right to make 2 exceptions from the rule.  Any more to be fired out of line have to be negotiated with the unions.

     Asking nearly 1200 bosses all over this Scandinavian country, 48 % of them have confessed that they have fired more people than they really had to while blaming the sluggish economy  – and many have taken the opportunity to get rid of unwanted people without following the last-in first-out principle.

     It seems that the younger bosses are more willing to wield the ax as they please – while the older ones have more respect for those who have dedicated more years to the company.

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