Irish solidarity with Swedish strikers

Date:

On November 15th the Swedish Workers Centralorganiation (SAC) called a 24 hour strike in protest against unemployment laws proposed by the new right-wing government.

The Swedish government wants to cut its financial contribution to unemployment funds by 50%, in order to finance more tax cuts for the wealthy, a move they claim will “stimulate the Swedish economy”. 600,000 people depended on benefits last year.The previous day a delegation of SAC* members visiting Ireland met with the WSM’s Jack White branch and we decided to jointly organise an event the following day to show support for our fellow workers in Sweden.

About 20 of us gathered, in driving rain, outside the Swedish embassy in Dawson Street. Signs explained the reason for the strike and 400 leaflets were given to passers-by.

Solidarity events also took place in many other countries. There are some photos at
www.yelah.net/news/20061115190520

The mainstream unions are opposed to ‘political strikes’ and campaigned vigorously against the SAC, with some even threatening their own members in the private sector that they would not defend them if they joined the strike. All public sector workers are legally prohibited from joining political strikes. Despite all these obstacles thousands walked off the job, most visibly in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

The day’s action also created debates in the other unions. Branches passed resolutions in favour of participation in the strike, or for their own unions to call a strike.

All of the unions are against the governments proposal’s, but only the SAC believes that the strike is a legitimate weapon for both workplace disputes and resisting state attacks on the wider working class.

*The SAC is a 7,500 member union, which describes itself as “libertarian socialist”, and which has been organising workers since 1910. They are affiliated to International Libertarian Solidarity, which is a network of revolutionary trade unions and anarchist organisations, including the WSM.
 

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