On Friday the Swedish Dockworkers' Union Local 4 gave notice about an upcoming strike at APM Terminals Gothenburg on the 24th of January between 12.00 and 20.00. There is already a ban on overtime and restrictions on the use of casuals in the largest container terminal in Scandinavia.
The APMT Gothenburg Dispute has been ongoing since spring 2016, caused by a drastic change in the company's personnel policies. The SDU Local 4 organises some 85% of the dockworkers at the terminal, and has been forced to take industrial action in it's attempts to re-establish a normal Swedish negotiation model, preventive Health & Safety in the workplace and other basic rights (the union's demands in the dispute are listed below).
In December 2016, the SDU and it's international organisation the International Dockworkers' Council proposed an initial three-month period without industrial action in an effort to establish constructive negotiations for a new production model at the terminal. The APMT management responded on the 23rd of December, declaring that it was not willing to make any counter-commitments or compromises concerning the issues at hand. The terminal management re-affirmed that it would allow the union to take part in announced redundancy talks.
APM Terminals is now threatening to lay off up to 60 dockworkers on temporary as well as permanent employment contracts (most of them SDU members) and denying them the right to be represented by their own union. Contradicting the claims of redundancy, the company has recently prolonged a large number of temporary employement contracts until the summer and plans to train more than twenty new straddle carrier drivers.
The latest strike in the APMT Gothenburg Dispute will come into effect in connection with the upcoming redundancy negotiations. The company's threats of mass layoffs is regarded as an act of extortion, aiming to push the dockworker collective to accept down-sizing of the crane gangs from 9 to 8 men as well as eroded employment security.
The SDU states that the announced 8-hour strike is a prelude to a broader escalation of the conflict, that may involve direct solidarity action on a global level.
The SDU's demands in the APMT Gothenburg Dispute: