INGENIOUS: Striking Swedish Unions Are Planning A Toilet Paper Blockade

Photo: Flickr/Brian

Sweden is being threatened with a union strike that could lead to shortages of toilet paper and paper towels, The Local reports.The strike is being proposed by the Pappers labour union to show solidarity with the Commercial Employees’ Union (Handels), which has been engaged in unsuccessful wage negotiations with the Svensk Handel retail employers’ association.

“We’re going to block goods from leaving factories in Lilla Edet, Marestad, Pauliström, and Nyboholm,” Matts Jutterström of the Pappers union told Dagens Arbete.

The action would go into effect on April 23 if the talks don’t conclude satisfactorily. The construction workers union Byggnads has also announced a strike on April 20 to support Handel workers.

The paper shortage could force the shopping mall entrances in Malmo, Linköping, and Bäckebol to close within a day, the Federal Chairman of Building Workers’ Union, Hans Ohlund, told Aftonbladet.

The Handels Union has demanded a 4.5 per cent pay raise, while Svensk Handel has only offered a 2.6 per cent hike. Handels had warned last month of a strike on April 13 if no agreement was reached, which means that apart from toilet paper, meat and milk could also disappear from Swedish store shelves. The stores likely to be affected by the Handels strike include Bauhaus, Ikea, Lindex, Rusta, Willys, Ica, Clas Ohlson, among others.

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