The Swedish Labor Court rules in favor of 25 dockworkers against APM Terminals Gothenburg

2018-06-08

The 30th of May, the Swedish Labor Court announced the judgment in A44 / 17, where the container operator APM Terminals sued 25 dockworkers for unlawful industrial action. The court rejects the company's claim and acquit all employees. The company is also ordered to pay the employee's trial costs.

The background is an event in January 2017 when the staff at one of the shifts in the container terminal in the port of Gothenburg participated in a 20-30 minute meeting, which the company, according to its own statement, convened by SMS to private phones during production. The meeting was about a new way of working in the risky crane operation that the employer intended to introduce as a panic action that afternoon to try to remedy emergency production problems at the terminal. After the meeting, production was resumed as usual, but 27 dockworkers were subsequently warned for refusing to work and were subject to wage deductions.

During the spring of 2017, Swedish Enterprise's political campaign escalated to enforce restrictions on strike rights with reference to the crisis at the APM Terminals. 25 of the warned workers were then sued by their employer for participating in an unlawful industrial action at the event in January. All fellow workers were members of the Swedish Dockworkers Union. The two members of the Transport Workers' Union, also warned for the same event, received no lawsuit from APM Terminals.

The lawsuit has been one of the employer´s strategies to damage the Dockworkers Union and harass its members. The dockers have been harmed by the accusations, and last week’s verdict is some compensation for the past months stressful situation.