Monday, March 21, 2005

Sweden and Cuba: Demonstrate or be damned

The Swedish National Labour Market Administration is the catchy English designation for the dreaded job centre, or Arbetsförmedlingen. The Nyköping branch decided it would get its job-seekers out of the house for a while. Using an old trick beloved of authoritarian states everywhere, the Administration told unemployed construction workers that if they did not attend a demonstration in favour of collective agreements, it would assume they were in gainful employment and their benefits would be duly withdrawn. Here are a couple of snippets from the threatening letter:

You will receive information on the bus to Stockholm City Centre, where Byggnads [Union for Hurling Abuse at Latvians] will hold a demonstration about the significance of collective agreements, in which you are expected to take part. Attendance at the meeting is compulsory. If you do not attend, I will take it for granted that you are fully occupied and no longer seeking employment through the Labour Market Administration. You will be removed from the unemployment register and your unemployment benefits will cease.

The Liberal Party’s Lars Leijonborg has this to say about the Labour Market Administration’s intervention: This is a shocking example of where we end up when we have a society where the Social Democrats become inseparable from the State. This is a completely unacceptable example of threatening individuals to make them take part in the Social Democratic propaganda machine.


Post a Comment

<< Home