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Government issues crisis plan in response to Ericsson job cuts

Published tisdag 4 oktober 2016 kl 15.47
Enterprise Minister: We are fully prepared
(2:23 min)
Minister of Enterprise Mikael Damberg responding to job cuts announced by Ericsson. Photo:Jessica Gow/TT
Minister of Enterprise Mikael Damberg responding to job cuts announced by Ericsson. Photo:Jessica Gow/TT Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

The Government on Tuesday promised action to help the communities and workers affected by Ericsson's thousands of jobs cuts.

At the same time it appointed two special coordinators to help government, municipal, union efforts as well as Ericsson management following Tuesday's announcement. One of them is the earlier head of the state run alcohol retail chain, Anitra Steen.

Minister for Enterprise Mikael Damberg said the government is preparing measures aimed at training opportunities combined with efforts to strengthen the IT and telecom cluster in Sweden.

"Although Ericsson's savings programme was expected, it still cuts to the heart. I feel for the employees, their families and the areas concerned,"  Minister Mikael Damberg, of the Social Democrats said of the 3,000 job losses announced by Ericsson on Tuesday.

Damberg said he will visit Kumla on Wednesday, one of two Ericsson manufacturing plants to be hardest by the job cuts.

"Those who need to receive training and assistance to get new jobs will have it," he said to news agency TT.

The Minister for Enterprise also stated efforts may be needed for the Swedish IT and telecom cluster to maintain its competitiveness, such as the one in Kista, known as Sweden's Silicon Valley.

However, the government said the mobile telecoms equipment maker should take full responsibility for its savings plan. That responsibility is, according to Mikael Damberg, both to the employees and the affected locations, such as in Borås and Kumla.

The Minister did said he sees a positive response from Ericsson:

"Ericsson could have chosen to add 5G operations elsewhere on this planet, but chose to do it in Sweden. Another decision would have been very ominous for Swedish industry."

Opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra of the Moderate Party said the focus must first and foremost be on the employees affected.

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