Idol 2016 contestents and presenter.
Idol has proved hugely popular in Sweden since it began more than a decade ago. Credit: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

'One strike and you're out' threat for Idol contestants

The makers of the popular reality TV singing show Idol have threatened that if any contestants follow through on a threat to strike they will be eliminated from the competiton, newspaper Aftonbladet has reported.

The Musicians’ Union has called for higher salaries and better working conditions for the contestants who, they say, earn 875 kronor per week after tax and are expected to work “around the clock”.

The union has called the programme a “cash cow” for FremantleMedia and TV4. Union chairman Jan Granvik said the pay compared to the amount of time and effort the contestants were expected to put in was “unacceptable” and “slave-like”.

The union has given the production company until 2pm on Friday 25 November to reach an agreement or it will go through with the strike.

Per Herrey, who is a lawyer for the Musicians’ Union told Aftonbladet that the production company had called the contestants to a meeting to see how many would consider striking.

“At the meeting they asked which of the idols will strike,” Herrey is quoted as saying. “The production company said ‘sure you have the right to strike but, if you do, you go out of the competition’. That was the message they received.”

FreemantleMedia have rejected the claim that the pay and conditions are unfair, saying that the programme gives young, unknown artists a platform to launch a career.

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