New information but no solutions in the mediators' final bid

2017-03-13 On the 7th of March, the Swedish Dockworkers' Union local 4 was summoned to a meeting with the state mediators to receive their final proposal.

The state mediators requested that the SDU and APM Terminals Gothenburg would leave their official replies today, the 13th of March, at 10 AM. The mediators instructed the parties not to publically comment on the content of the bid until Monday morning.

In their latest letter, the mediators state that APM Terminals Gothenburg has accepted the SDU's proposal to sign a tripartite Collective Bargaining Agreement with the two trade unions organising dockworkers in the container terminal. This information is new to the SDU, and is received positively as such an agreement could provide a long-term solution to the CBA issue in Gothenburg's container terminal, where the SDU organises some 85% of the dockworkers, and perhaps also in other Swedish ports.
However, according to the mediators the Swedish Transport Workers' Union has turned down all such invitations. If true, it is unfortunate that a trade union that organises a small minority of the dockworkers in the Port of Gothenburg rejects to co-sign the CBA together with the majority union, as equal trade union stakeholders. On the part of the SDU, however, there is no point making this a prestige issue. Our fight is with the company management and it's treatment of the employees. Regarding the STWU's attitude, we can only hope for a change. As the current national CBA for the port sector ends shortly, perhaps new openings could present themselves this spring.

The actual contract proposal presented by the state mediators in their final bid is unfortunately, from the SDU's point of view, even worse than the side letter to the CBA that was previously rejected. For example, the proposal explicitly asks the union to relinquish it's rights under central paragraphs in the Codetermination Act (MBL §§34-36) and includes no clarification whether or not the SDU members would be entitled to elect Health & Safety officers. Key issues like Health & Safety remain unclear and open for continued conflict.

All in all, the mediators' proposal, instead of creating a platform for the parties in the APMT Gothenburg Dispute to sit down and quickly resolve the current crisis in the container terminal, leaves us with no real prospects of long term cooperation and stability. Therefore, the SDU has declined to sign the mediators' proposal.

The mediators' letter/proposal and the SDU's response are attached in full length as PDF files below (unfortunately only in Swedish)