Swedish LO and Latvian LBAS concludes cooperation agreement against social dumping
13 October 2005 the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS) concluded a cooperation agreement aimed at fighting social dumping.
The Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen, LO) and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (Latvijas Brīvo Arodbiedrību savienība, LBAS), concluded 13 October 2005 a cooperation agreement aimed at avoiding social dumping. The two parties state that one of the general principles for trade union work is to defend workers’ interests. Therefore LO and LBAS have agreed that problems coming up in the future must find early solutions. 'We cannot accept social dumping in any form, and collective bargaining and labour laws in the country of destination shall be respected in line with the principles of the existing European legislation'.
The purpose of the agreement, as expressed by the parties, is to explore the idea of trade union solidarity and to strengthen cooperation between both organizations. Regular exchange of information from the labour markets in Latvia and Sweden will be upheld. Contacts will be extended by exchange of expertise on different issues. In cases of internal problems coming up there should be immediate measures taken and solutions should be found. The participation and consultation of the social partners at all levels will be improved. A better co-operation with the employers’ organizations in both countries should be established. Affiliates should be engaged to cooperate between respective branches. The two parties will prevent and combat social dumping in both countries.
As for the forms of cooperation between LO and LBAS it may contain mutual visits, bilateral talks and consultations, seminars, conferences, exchange of knowledge and experience at all levels.
The new cooperation agreement is to be seen in the light of the current issue between the Swedish Building Workers’ Trade Union (Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet, Byggnads) and the Latvian company Laval un Partneri Ltd concerning a wage conflict and following conflict actions. (SE0412101N, SE0509102F). The Swedish Labour Court (Arbetsdomstolen) decided in early spring 2005 to ask for a preliminary decision from the European Court of Justice (EG-domstolen, ECJ). The Court recently (September 2005) asked the ECJ whether the European Union rules allow that trade unions take to conflict actions with the aim of forcing a visiting company to agree on a collective agreement concerning employment and working conditions of the host country. According to the Swedish collective agreement system, generally seen all workers employed in Sweden should have the same terms of wage and other work conditions. (See also LV0506101N, LV0501101F).
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