Last night the Swedish Port Workers’ Union and the employer organisation Ports of Sweden (Sveriges Hamnar), received a written notice from the mediators regarding the proposal for a new collective agreement.

The federal board of Swedish Port Workers’ Union decided at its meeting later in the evening that the offer was sufficiently interesting to be subject to a new membership vote.

At the same time, the Confederation’s Board of Directors decided to revoke the existing notice of industrial action against Sweden’s Ports member companies on Tuesday morning in order to be able to carry out the membership vote in peace and quiet during the coming week. The alternative of instead postponing the industrial action for a shorter time was rejected on strategic grounds, since the conflict notices would then be postponed to the industrial holiday. If the members of the Port Workers’ Union reject the mediation offer, the union’s board will therefore instead announce new industrial action at a later stage.

The members of the Port Workers’ Union have decided to fight to achieve an agreement on two issues; improved opportunities for rehabilitation for need-based port workers who want to return to work after injury or illness, as well as the right to union induction for new employees.

In the bid, the mediators have succeeded in obtaining a commitment from Ports of Sweden to establish a new system for the rehabilitation of needy employees. The employers’ organization has undertaken to present by March 1, 2024 at the latest how such a system could look and be financed in the long term. During the current contract period, allocation of financial funds for the system corresponding to 0.05% of the salary must begin on July 1, 2024 and be paid in by April 30, 2025 at the latest.

The mediator’s offer does not otherwise involve any news. It is proposed that the Port Workers’ Union sign an independent collective agreement with the same substantive changes that were introduced earlier this spring in the agreement between Sweden’s Ports and the Transport Workers’ Union. This means enumeration of the financial parts of the agreement, formal changes regarding the agreement’s termination rules, but also a restriction of the preferential right to re-employment for needy employees in certain situations.