Industrial sector first to strike wage deal

Unions and employers within industry agreed Thursday evening to the terms of a new collective agreement, which would include a 2 percent hike towards wage increases for workers, as well as 0.2 percent set aside towards certain types of pensions, report Swedish Radio News.

This is the first sector to reach a collective agreement this year.

"It's a good agreement," the chair of the IF Metall labor union, Anders Ferbe, wrote in a press release. "It's at a level that gives real salary raises and that gives a continued strong Swedish industry."

The previous Industrial Cooperation and Negotiation Agreement was set to expire at midnight tonight, and involves the steel and metal industry, the forest industries, the food industry and others, and the new agreement will apply for one year.

The Swedish National Mediation Office's director general Carina Gunnarsson wrote in a press release that the agreement should pave the way for other negotations as well, because the mediators will have a "ground" to stand on.

According to Swedish Radio News's economy reporter Anders Jelmin, that this first deal will play a big role in how collective bargaining negotations within other industries play out.

"There's an enormous number of wage earners who will get new salaries this year. Three million, in all, and for one-and-a-half million people, the agreements will expire this weekend. So, a lot is at stake for many people, and this first agreement is important for the other agreements that must be negotiated," said Jelmin.