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Latvians Pull Out of Swedish Construction Project

Published torsdag 10 februari 2005 kl 12.59
Contested building site in Vaxholm

A Swedish-Latvian labor dispute at a school contruction site in the town of Vaxholm just outside of Stockholm has taken another turn – with the Latvian company pulling out of the project.

Swedish labor unions were boycotting the construction – blaming the Latvian owners for not paying their Latvian workers proper Swedish salaries.

The company argues that it was reaching minimum wage levels with all the extra benefits. Angry Latvian government officials had threatened to take the case before the European Union, but reports claim the EU would have not ruled in Latvia’s favor out of respect for each EU-member’s legislation.

While Swedish unions insist they are only trying to safeguard the interest of workers, some critics insist the Swedish union boycott violates the spirit of EU co-operation across borders and the lofty promises Sweden made to help its Baltic brothers improve their economy after decades of Soviet occupation.

The Latvian company has other projects in Sweden – and observers are wondering if the Swedish boycotts will be now aimed at these.

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