Trade unions to freeze out Sweden Democrats

Active Sweden Democrats will not be allowed to be members in one of Sweden’s main healthcare professionals unions, the chair of the labour group said on Wednesday.

“To be a nurse or a midwife is based on protecting people’s rights and equal value. You have to reflect on the fact that perhaps not everyone fulfills those guidelines,” Anna-Karin Eklund, chair of the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) to the TT news agency.

According to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, several labour groups are exploring various ways to shut Sweden Democrats out of their activities.

An elected member of the IF Metall industrial union is set to have his membership in the union put under review after he ran as a Sweden Democrat and won a seat on a municipal council. “The Sweden Democrats’ ideas stand in conflict with everything we stand for, but you can’t just throw them out automatically,” said IF Metall’s vice chair Anders Ferbe to DN.

The Swedish Transport Workers union (TransPort), which is part of LO, Sweden’s largest trade union confederation, has also given Sweden Democrats the cold shoulder. “We exclude active Sweden Democrats from membership. Their ideas aren’t compatible with our statutes and the fact that they’ve gotten some kind of legitimacy by getting elected to the Riksdag and local councils doesn’t matter,” said TransPort’s third vice-chair Martin Viredius to DN.

SKTF, a union representing salaried employees in the public sector, has previously made it clear that active Sweden Democrats cannot hold elected leadership positions within the union.

The Local, 29 September 2010