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BEERG Newsletter - Sweden: Unions want an agreement with Spotify

Three of Sweden's leading white-collar unions have sent a formal request to the Spotify music streaming service, calling on them to start negotiations a collective agreement. Engineers of Sweden, Unionen, and Akavia submitted the request to Spotify on Wednesday, April 12th, saying that they hoped to strike the first collective agreement with the company "as soon as possible". 

"Spotify's technical solutions have revolutionised how sound is consumed. Now it's high time for the company to break new ground as an employer by signing a collective agreement," Ulrika Lindstrand, president of Engineers of Sweden, said in a press statement. She said that the increased influence for employees and opportunities for collaboration with the relevant unions would be positive for the streaming service's business, strengthening its ability to handle difficult business changes and take on challenges. 

Lindstrand added: "This is our second negotiation request in the tech industry in a short time. It is both a way to extend a hand and at the same time give a clear push in the right direction… …More fast-growing technology companies need to take the step and join the Swedish model of employee participation. Now is the time." 

Under Sweden's Co-Determination in the Workplace Act, or Lag om medbestämmande i arbetslivet (MBL), companies are required by law to start negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement as soon as possible after receiving a request. 

In the press release, the unions said that the agreement would apply only to the company's employees in Sweden, both at its offices in Stockholm and in Gothenburg where a sizeable proportion of the company's Swedish engineers are based. 

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Authors: Tom Hayes

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