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Protest letter to the government of the United Kingdom

Internationellt The Swedish trade union federations LO, TCO and Saco expresses their deepest concerns about the proposed Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill introduced to the British parliament this month.

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Susanna Gideonsson, LO, Göran Arrius, Saco and Therese Svanström, TCO.

Stockholm, January 27, 2023

Dear Ambassador Gough,

As representative bodies for workers in Sweden, the Swedish trade union federations LO, TCO and Saco, representing 3,5 million workers would like to express our deep concerns about the proposed Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill introduced to the British parliament this month. 

Contrary to UK government claims, these measures would push the UK even further outside of international democratic norms. 

As far as we understand, the UK has already highly restrictive anti-trade union laws and to claim that further restrictions stand comparison to the rights given in for instance the European Social Charter is incorrect and would be a big step back for Great Britain as a beacon of Western democracy and civilization. 

We are particularly concerned that these proposals will contravene International Labour Organisation and Council of Europe standards, again contrary to claims by the UK government. 

Strong independent and autonomous trade unions are a fundamental pillar of a democratic and sustainable society and the right to strike is a fundamental democratic safeguard as well as a fundamental right recognised in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. We urge you to convey to UK ministers the solidarity of working people in Sweden with public servants and all workers in the UK as they seek defend their standard of living and defeat these unfair and counterproductive measures.

Yours sincerely,

Susanna Gideonsson
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO

Therese Svanström
Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees, TCO

Göran Arrius
Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, Saco