Foto: Jessica Gow/TT
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Annelie Nordström resigns and will step down in May. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
Annelie Nordström announced that she will step down. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
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Annelie Nordström announced that she will step down. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Head of union Kommunal to step down in May

"From the bottom of my heart: I am sorry"
3:33 min

The chair of Sweden's biggest trade union Kommunal announced she would resign after a string of revelations including loss-making property investments and a lavish use of the entertainment account for board members.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, chairwoman Annelie Nordström said she will step down at the next annual conference in May, which means she will stay on during the spring's wage negotiations.

"We understand and share our members' outrage. We are sorry that we didn't grasp the magnitude of this earlier." Nordström said at the press conference.

Nordström presented a plan of action for how they will clean up in what she called "an out-of-date culture" she said. More internal controls, more transparency will be introduced and a whistle-blower function will be established

The management of union's trading company Lyran, which has been in charge of the criticised property acquisitions, will be replaced. The criticised ownership of the restaurant Metropol Palais in Stockholm, which had been rented out to a sex show, will be terminated. Annelie Nordström says the union will not sell all its properties, but says the management of them needs to be reviewed.

Nordström also said she regretted that the Union rented out a flat to Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, but maintained that she had never given any false information in regards to this. Apart from that she did not want to comment further as a preliminary bribery investigation is underway.

"I want to apologise to the members, the elected representatives and the employees for the mistakes that have been made in Kommunal. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry, we are sorry. But it is not sufficient to apologise. What has gone wrong needs to be corrected," she said.

Over the past week, some 9,600 members have left the union in protest. Kommunal is the biggest trade union in Sweden, and its members are mainly care workers and school staff.

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