Where did you go – Solidarity?

Posted on November 18, 2012


Sitting by the telly, admiring the Swedish Public Service’s new concentration on Swedish events taking place in the past. This programme is about the strike in mines in the north of Sweden at the end of the 1960’s, when the mine-company did not want to pay a fair but very little raise of their employee’s salaries. The company lost millions of Swedish crowns during the conflict, which would have been avoided if they had paid up after the first negotiation.

During the negotiations, the unions softened and the workers went back to work. Sadly, their action did not give them the rise in welfare that they expected. Although in the long run it gave them a better life, both at home and at work.

This wonderful act of solidarity spread to other sectors in Sweden and improvement of the worker’s rights began to take place during the 70’s. After that, the unions and worker’s power were strong for about 2 decades, when the decline arrived. A big mistake were made by the unions, that shattered the solidarity like porcelain under a hammer.
Unions unfortunately let the employers negotiate individually over the salary with the workers, which of course benefited many workers. As long as you did and still do what you were/are told. If you try to point out that there is a problem in the company that you wish to be erased, you will be erased.

Alongside with other things in society that have made it tougher for those with low incomes (high rate of unemployment, higher prices etc.), this is something that have shattered the solidarity among people towards each other. No one wants to fight the giants themselves, because a discharge will affect their families in so many ways. Therefore, we must make unions stronger with us joining them and take part in their work. If we do not have solidarity towards one another where we work, we will having problem finding it in the society overall.