Further limitations to the right to strike
On the 5th of June, the three main labor union federations announced that they, in cooperation with the capitalists’ organizations had reached an agreement on how to further limit the right to strike.
The workers’ right to strike is already limited through the obligation to notify a strike seven workdays in advance and through the obligation to maintain the peace during periods, in which collective bargaining agreements are in effect. This time, strikes and conflicts that do not have a collective bargaining agreement as its goal are to be forbidden. Even though solidarity actions, political strikes and other kind of measures are exempted from the proposal, the risk is great that strikes or other actions for workers who have been fired or where the company has broken the law will be forbidden.
As soon as the negotiations between the capitalists and the reformist labor unions were finished, the social democratic labor minister Ylva Johansson proclaimed her support of the proposal. The attack of the Social Democratic Party against the workers of Sweden has to make even the most reactionary parts of the Swedish bourgeoisie impressed. However, the consequences are even more far-reaching.
As a result of this deal between the reformists and the capitalists, the door is open for a total disregard of the Swedish labor unions, just what the investigation into the right to strike launched by the Social Democratic Party this spring was aiming for. Earlier practice on the Swedish labor market stated that actions by the workers and labor unions aiming for a replacement or change of already existing collective bargaining agreements were forbidden, and that it was the first agreement on a workplace that regulated the conditions of the workers. Through the new proposal, this practice is supposed to be written into the law.
If these measures are carried through, the capitalists are given the possiblity to sign collective bargaining agreements with their own, yellow labor unions. The agreements signed with the yellow unions would regulate the conditions of the workers and would be illegal for the workers’ unions to challange within the confines of bourgeois law. This leaves the workers’ labor unions with two options: to underbid the yellow unions in order to win the contract or to challenge them in opposition to the existing law.
The changes now agreed upon by the unions and capitalists, and that the Social Democrats now want to elevate into law as soon as possible is aimed at preparing the ground for a general offensive against the workers in Sweden.
The Communist Party of Sweden denounces every attack on the workers’ right to industrial action and we categorically reject the right of the bourgeois law to limit the struggle of the working class.
Eventually, the capitalists and their politicians, as well as their yellow worker leaders, will not be able to restrain the struggle of the workers. Conscious of their class and of their goal, the working class will disregard the bourgeois law and show that the law is nothing but the right of the workers.
When the contradictions between the imperialist centers grow, when competition increases, the need to push back the own country’s working class and on their backs increase the effectiveness of the competition with the imperialists around the world intensifies. In the same way that the Swedish Social Democrats attack the workers of Sweden, the capitalists’ politicians attack the workers in other countries. They too, need to be able to compete.
The attacks are not random. It is the mechanisms of the capitalist system that forces it to attack. Without dealing with the capitalist system, with its stat, its politicians and its union bosses, no right to strike can ever be guaranteed.
The Communist Party of Sweden has no interests separate from the workers’. It is only in the struggle against capitalism and for socialism that real progress and real security or the working people in Sweden and in the world can be won.
We call on the working people in Sweden to: