Sjöstedt calls for worker co-ops in welfare

The Left Party said it will put forth a billion krona to replace private equity firms in Sweden's public sector with employee-owned cooperatives.

Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt said Friday that the investment would encourage employees to take over the businesses of education, health care and social welfare. Under the program, the goal of making a profit would be removed and staff would have more control over their work.

"This way we get an opportunity to take advantage of all the creative power and pride held by the staff, but without the negative aspect of profit incentives," Sjöstedt told Swedish Radio News.

Private companies started providing services in Sweden's welfare sector in the early 1990s and local authorities are now obliged to open contracts out for bids.

Sjöstedt said workers cooperatives and other non-profit organizations will also have opportunities to take out loans and people would still have the freedom to choose, for example, which school to send their child.

On Friday evening, Sjöstedt will wrap up his party's day on Almedalen with a policy speech starting at 7 p.m. local time.