New deal ends industrial stalemate

An agreement based on a pay rise of 6.3 percent has been reached in the industrial collective wage negotiations, reports news agency TT.

The total cost to the employers will actually be 6.8 percent, due to additional money they will set aside towards certain pensions under the new agreement.

The old collective agreement for Swedish industry had run out yesterday, meaning strike or lock-out became possible.

Åke Svensson of employers' association Teknikföretagen, says: "the agreement gives stable conditions, to plan for Sweden's important export industry." He says to Swedish Radio News that he's happy about the fact that he's got a deal now signed that'll last for three years.

But the unions are also pleased to finally enter again the safe zone, and are now covered by a collective agreement. The head of the IF Metall union, Anders Ferbe, says to news agency TT that it's good to have a longer agreement, for Sweden's industry and industrial workers, and that he's happy to have a stability that also includes better parental leave benefits.

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