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Support needed for sacked union leader

Friday 11 November 2005

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This is an appeal for support to the sacked union chairman, Per Johansson, of the metro union: SEKO klubb 119.

"We refuse to be silent"

Per Johansson, was sacked, on the 29th of September, by the multinational company, Connex. This has now turned in to a very important struggle, not only to reinstate Per Johansson, but a fight against attacks on union rights in Sweden, attacks on freedom of speech in work places, on the working class as such. It’s also developing into a fight against privatisation There have been protest - strikes and demonstrations of support, and these actions will continue.

On 18th November a day of action with strikes and demonstrations will take place.

Please take stands before this date.

Please distribute this appeal to all union, or any other organisation, throughout the world who could possibly take a solidarity stand.

Comradely, Sven Jinton, chairman, SEKO Post klubb Södermalm (local union of postal workers - branch of same union as the Metro workers union)

e-mail: sven.jinton@posten.se, sven.k.jinton@gmx.net

For contact with and support to the metro drivers union - please contact: Yiannis Konstantis, Vice-chairman


e-mail: liljeholmen@klubb119.org

Tel: +46 8 686 42 46

Fax: +46 8 686 42 54

Further information on: www.klubb119.org


Today the private entrepreneur, CONNEX, that runs the metro in Stockholm, has fired the chairman of the trade union that organises the metro drivers.

The reason for this is because they accuse him of being disloyal, when alongside with his union comrades he fights for better working conditions and metro safety.

We now ask for your messages of solidarity and support.


Stockholm metro: The sacking of the chairman of the union

An appeal for support - Connex Employees plan for a new strike

November 18th has been declared a day of protest against the anti-union policy of Connex in general and against the sacking of Per Johansson in particular. We are appealing for your solidarity.

On September 27th, his employer, Connex Sweden, fired Per Johansson, chairman of the metro drivers’ union of Stockholm. The reason for this was Johansson’s alleged disloyalty to the company and his alleged rudeness towards his “fellow employees” (probably referring to his bosses). Connex maintains that the sacking is in no way related to Johansson’s role as union chairman. The members of his union and other unions think otherwise.

Under Johansson’s chairmanship the union has gained considerable ground in questions concerning wages and working hours. The immediate cause for his dismissal, however, is probably his focus on safety and working environment.

Together with the elected safety controllers the union has put its finger on several sore spots. The safety controllers have used their power to stop the traffic on three different occasions after severe incidents. Insufficient measures having been taken to remedy the ills, Johansson has gone public. In all likelihood this constitutes his “disloyalty”.

Since the sacking of Johansson the metro drivers’ union has convened meetings for its enraged members at least once a week to discuss measures.

In Sweden trade unions are tied up by collective labour contracts. This makes it impossible for the union to call for a strike in support of Johansson. Nevertheless, the metro drivers went on an unauthorised strike on the morning of October 6th. The Stockholm metro came very close to a complete standstill. At nine o’clock, the traffic was resumed. On the same day a demonstration was stages in front of the main office of Connex Sweden.

The metro drivers’ union has continually taken many actions, putting pressure on Connex to reemploy Per Johansson. One of those actions was the big demonstration on the 20th of October where about 2000 members showed their support for Per. Connex employees in Stockholm are planning for an unauthorised 24 hours strike the 18th of November and a large demonstration, a local demonstration on the 7th of November, and other actions.

The metro drivers’ union enjoy the unanimous support of the other trade unions of Sweden. Petition lists are being circulated, calling for the reemployment of Johansson. Thousands of leaflets have been distributed. A poster campaign is going on with the motto “We refuse to keep silent!” The national leadership of the union is investigating the possibility of a political strike for the freedom of speech. The ITF is exerting pressure on Connex internationally.

Fellow workers all over the world, at the 18th of November a huge demonstration organised by the union will take place in Sweden; we are calling for your support on this day. You can support us this day by demonstrating or by taking other actions in front of Connex offices or any other office that represents the mother company Veolia, the owner of Connex, Onyx, Dalkia, Veolia Water and others. In case there is no representative of any of the above-mentioned companies in the country you live in, you can still show your support by demonstrating in front of the Swedish embassy.

An urgent call for the unions that have not yet sent their petition lists to do so as soon as possible.

P.S. We need if it’s possible, pictures from your actions. Send them to us by mail, so we can show your solidarity actions to our members and the workers in Stockholm’s metro.