7 October 2013 – ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton last week heard directly from workers in Sweden on issues that matter to them on a short fact finding trip to the country.
Visiting Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Cotton spoke with Scandinavian airline workers and saw many aspects of daily work at a large international airport, from baggage handling to mechanics working with aircraft maintenance. He also saw the results of the Swedish Transport Workers Union’s (STWU) organising work, as workers handed around a petition demanding the reinstatement of health benefits withdrawn earlier this year.
Cotton also attended the ITF-affiliated Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees (SEKO) conference during his trip. SEKO is one of the largest trade unions in Sweden, representing over 120, 000 workers.
Reflecting on his visit, Cotton said: “I felt honoured to have the opportunity to meet with airport workers in Sweden. It’s always inspiring to meet with transport workers, and hear directly about the issues they face every day. It was particularly inspiring to see the STWU fighting back and standing up for workers’ rights. The SEKO conference was a great opportunity to learn more about the context in which transport sector workers operate in Sweden, and where the ITF can support the work of its affiliates in the country.”