July 11, 2012
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Union representative beaten and menaced with death in his own home, and forced at knife point to retract union’s demands.
On 2 July at nine p.m. six men with connections to a Stockholm criminal gang, Werewolf Legion, forced their way into the home of a union representative of the SAC Västerort local section. Having locked his wife and her children in another room, they beat the union man repeatedly about the head, and with a knife at his throat forced him to retract all the union’s claims against a certain staffing agency with which SAC had been attempting to negotiate. The victim was forced to phone the staffing agency’s owner, who is the brother of the leader of the six attackers, and retract all the union’s claims.
SAC spokesperson, Anders Knutsson, called for government and police attention to what was in effect a serious attack on the entire union movement. Behind this attack in the union representative’s home was the union’s having called the staffing agency to a negotiation meeting. On the agenda were two illegal firings, including claims for unpaid salaries and unsettled vacation compensation. After the first meeting, the staffing agency stated the next meeting was to be on its premises, but this did not take place. The next development was the attack of the six hoodlums on the union representtive. Not only is the leader of the attack the brother of the agency’s owner, but he has held a high position in the Wereworlf Legion gang. In addition, after the union representative had been forced under threat of death to drop all union claims, the chief of the attackers informed the union man that he had a personal debt of half a million Swedish kronor to the leader of the Werewolf Legion. This has to be paid within a month or the union man will be killed.
The staffing agency in question hires out personnal mainly to hotels and restaurants. SAC has received reports of many abuses in such staffing agencies. Workplace regulations and union agreements are often ignored, certain agency owners are suspected of having connections to the criminal world, and it is not unusual that these agencies can serve as means of laundering money for criminal gangs. It was only a question of time, said the SAC spokesperson, until attacks on union representatives would begin. SAC is demanding therefore that the police and the Minister of Labour, Hillevi Engström, take immediate measures to get the staffing agencies to follow Swedish labour market regulations and Swedish law.