Impartial chairs appointed for industry sector negotiations

In June 1999, the social partners in Sweden's industry sector appointed eight impartial chairs to support them in the coming negotiations over a new collective agreement for the sector. The use of such chairs is laid down in a 1997 procedural agreement.

At the end of June 1999, trade unions and employers in private sector industry appointed eight impartial chairs for their forthcoming collective bargaining round. Under the March 1997 agreement on cooperation and pay regulation in the industry sector (SE9703110N), such impartial chairs on their own initiative join the negotiations over a new collective agreement one month before the existing agreement is to expire and ensure that the negotiations end in due time. The 1997 agreement was signed by eight trade union federations and 12 employers' associations, representing some 10,000 companies and 800,000 employees. The aims of the agreement include the conclusion of new collective agreements without any strikes or lock-outs.

The eight appointed chairs are: Lars Ahlvarsson, previously director of negotiations at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet); Lars-Gunnar Ahlbåge, previously head of negotiations at the Swedish Employers' Confederation (Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen) and often engaged as a mediator; Agneta Dreber, general director of the National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet); Gunnar Högberg, former managing director of the employers' organisation for commerce and services; Benne Lantz, former head of negotiations for the municipal officials' union; Rune Larson, former head of negotiations for the government officials' union and now often engaged as a mediator; Göte Larsson of the Swedish Metalworkers' Union (Svenska Metallindustriarbetareförbundet); and Claes Stråth, an official arbitrator since 1994.

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