More and more people work in workplaces where there is no safety representative.
This worries the government, which wants the Work Environment Agency to investigate the reasons for this development.
The Work Environment Agency must also put forward proposals that could get more workers involved as safety representatives, “regardless of whether the safety representatives or workers have a union affiliation or not.”
LO predicts anti-union intentions
In the government’s submission to the Work Environment Agency, it was not explicitly stated that the safety representative’s relationship with the union was an issue. But LO suspects anti-union intentions.
– It is of course well-intentioned that more people want to become protection agents. But the government completely ignores the very difficult position of the safety representative, says Torbjörn Johansson, agreement secretary at the LO.
-As a protection agent, you move between co-workers, whom you are supposed to protect, and your boss, who has capitalistic demands to make a profit. An almost impossible seat.
Security agents can become incredibly unpopular with employers, who sometimes go so far as to fire overzealous security agents. But also with colleagues, who do not get the protection they expect, adds Torbjörn Johansson.
– To think that you can become a security guard without your guild behind you is so stupid that it makes me feel numb.
The appointment entrusted to the Swedish Work Environment Agency does not stipulate that safety representatives cannot be appointed by a union. Isn’t LO over-explaining this?
– The Sweden Democrats have long spoken of their desire to separate protection agents from the union. So this is a purely political matter by the SD which will affect the protection of employees, answers Torbjörn Johansson.
“You become your employer’s servant.”
But the mandate of the Work Environment Agency does not include proposing changes to the law?
– This is a first step that more can follow. Whoever is investigating may realize the political will behind this.
Torbjørn Johansson fears that focusing on getting more people to become safety representatives, regardless of whether they have union protection or not, could in the long run lead to us having employer-appointed safety representatives.
– A safety representative without union support is a smoker. You become your employer’s servant. Then the co-workers lost everything; Then we have employer-owned safety representatives.
The ruling parties criticize the current regime
The Work Environment Act stipulates that one or more safety representatives must be appointed in workplaces with at least five employees.
Today, local safety representatives are appointed by a union (“local employee organization”) that has a collective agreement with the employer. If there is no such organization, safety representatives are appointed directly by employees.
The Sweden Democrats want to sever the Protection Representative’s relationship with the Union. In an interview in Arbitit, party leader Jimmi Akesson also said that it is very difficult to be a regional protectorate representative if you do not belong to the Social Democratic Party.
All three government parties have also expressed criticism of the fact that local safety representatives are usually appointed by the union, including in proposals to Parliament.
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