EU Court A-G Upholds Swedish Union

Industrial action taken by Swedish unions against a Latvian firm in Vaxholm does not break EU rules on the freedom of movement, says the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice.

According to the recommendation, unions are allowed to prevent the temporary use of workers from other EU-member states as long as the move is designed to prevent so-called ”social dumping.”

In November 2004, Swedish unions, blockaded the renovation of a school in Vaxholm by a subsidiary of Latvian construction company Laval, after the company refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement.

The Court is not bound to follow the advocate general’s recommendation and a final verdict is expected by the end of the year at the earliest.

The ruling is seen as a test case for how to balance labour rights with business market rules across Europe, where many old, richer member nations are struggling to compete with cheaper labour from eastern EU member states.

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