Mediators' proposal avoids industrial action in bus transport

On Sunday 20 June 1999 the two mediators presented their final proposal in the pay negotiations between the bus employers and transport workers. Both parties accepted the proposal thus avoiding industrial action which would have hit tourist traffic.

Two mediators, Mr Ingemar Mundebo and Mr Gunnar Samuelsson, had been having intense contacts throughout a week in the middle of June with the pay negotiators from the Coach Employers' Association (Bussarbetsgivarna, BUA) and the Swedish Transport Workers' Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet, Transport). Transport had given notice of a ban on overtime and a boycott of any new charter tourist traffic. The industrial action was due to commence on 22 June 1999.

The new agreement gives about 2,000 bus drivers in the private sector a SEK 430 per month pay increase from 1 July 1999, a yearly increase in pay of 2.5%. Employees also receive a backdated sum of 2.7% on their pay for the period from 1 October 1998 to 30 June 1999. Bus drivers will be entitled to a minimum of four's pay if they are required to work on their day off, compared to three hours before. The new agreement runs until 31 January 2000.

The present negotiations were complicated by an old inter-union dispute which had been continuing between Transport and the Municipal Workers' Union (Svenska Kommunalarbetareförbundet, Kommunal). The dispute is largely about which union should organise particular employees. The bus employers and Kommunal reached agreement in March 1999 after a 13 day bus strike (SE9903149N). Transport has sought an agreement on the same lines as other bus drivers' in the industry. The latter unions' chairman, Hans Wahlström, stated at a press conference that the union was generally satisfied with the terms of the agreement. Kommunal, has a right to renegotiations if its agreement of 9 March 1999 turns out to be less satisfactory for its members than the Transport agreement. At the time of writing it was not known whether or not Kommunal would take any action.

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