On September 26, negotiations were held between the Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) and the enterprise cenfederation Ports of Sweden. The negotiation concerned the possibilities to sign a central collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and was initiated by the SDU.
The SDU's wish to sign a CBA is not new - it has been one of the union´s main goals since it was founded in 1972.
The main reason why the SDU requested a negotiation at this moment is the acute shortcomings in the work enviroment in many Swedish ports. After the employers excluded the SDU from Health & Safety cooperatons in April 2018, several serious injuries have accured. The exclusion was motivated by the fact that the SDU is not a collective bargaining part. Signing the proposed agreement would formalize the practice that prevailed before the new policy from Ports of Sweden came in to force. For a long time, the SDU has been involved in Health & Safety cooperations and local agreements in the ports around Sweden where the SDU has associated members.
Prior to the negotiation the SDU presented a complete CBA proposal.
The CBA proposal is in substance equivalent to the existing CBA between the Ports of Sweden and the Transport Workers' Union. We have not submitted any financial requirements, but we have proposed three additions, which we concider to be motivated by events that have occured during the last year.
The first addition reinforces the routine that changes in working methods should be preceded by risk analyzes.
In the second addition, we want to encure rehabilitation responsibility also for temporary employees if they are injured at work.
The third addition regulates the hiring of staff. The addition prevents employers from hiring staff if they have employees with preferential rights for re-employment.
During the negotiation, Ports of Sweden announced that all proposed additions to the existing CBA were rejected.
In order to reach a swift solution to a troubling situation, the SDU finally offered a proposal to sign a CBA identical to the one already signed by Ports of Sweden and the Transport Workers' Union.
Ports of Sweden rejected this proposal as well, and stated that they are not interested in an agreement where the SDU is a full contractual party of any CBA. Instead, they once again proposed a so-called second-hand agreement to the Transport Workers' CBA. Signing a second-hand agreement would in practice subordinate the SDU to another trade union's decisions and to all future agreements with employers. Ports of Sweden also announced that they did not know any existing second-hand agreements signed by any other employee organization in the Swedish labor market.
After the SDU rejected the repeated proposal from Ports of Sweden, the negotiation ended.
The outcome of the negotiation will now be returned to the SDU members for further discussion and decision on what to do next.