Swedish bus strike over as agreement reached
The nine day long Swedish bus strike is over after the Kommunal Union and the Swedish Bus and Coach Employers' Association (BuA) reached agreement late yesterday evening.
The public transport company in Stockholm, SL, said they expected most buses to be running on their normal schedule today.
In Norrköping, where the strike had made it difficult for tens of thousands of fesitival visitors to reach the venue, the local public transport company was busy pulling trams and buses into traffic again.
The union had warned that the strike will be further intensified on Saturday June 29th with another 1,400 employees joining the dispute unless its terms were met.
The Kommunal Union and the Swedish Bus and Coach Employers' Association have agreed to a new three year contract. One of the main points of Thursday night's agreement is that when a new entrepreneur comes in to run the buses, then it must first take over and look after the staff who already work in the company.
One of the main reasons for the strike action was that bus workers had no protection from being sacked if a new bus company takes over bus traffic operations. Other grievances included pay, the length of breaks and the ability not to work split shifts.
According to a press release from Kommunal, the agreement includes better contract regulations for staff in the event of a change of owner, minimum salaries for professionals who do not have it, employee influence over schedule changes, short breaks may not be the norm and the salary will be increased by SEK 1,732 during the contract period June 1, 2013 - September 30, 2016.
Kommunal chairperson Annelie Nordström was very pleased that the union has pushed through its four main requirements.
"The new agreement contains an element of increased dialogue in the context of procurements in order to reduce the employees' concerns about job security," said a press release.
The strike has affected hundreds of thousands of travelers in the Stockholm area, Umeå, Strängnäs, Halmstad and Jönköping.