Unions at Klarna Plan Strike Action

Published 6 months ago

The tension at Klarna, the Swedish payments company, is escalating as two additional trade unions have announced plans to strike in sympathy with existing unions. This action follows reports last week of two other unions representing Klarna employees in Sweden deciding to strike.

Sen Kanner, a representative from Unionen, one of the initial unions to announce a strike, is now working towards informing and supporting Unionen members, who are also Klarna employees, about the upcoming strike action scheduled for November 7. Kanner expressed concern over the fear among employees, particularly young international talents, who are unsure about the implications of participating in the strike.

The Root of the Dispute

The unions are demanding a collective agreement with Klarna, which would require the company to negotiate significant changes such as layoffs with the unions. In Sweden, approximately 90% of employees are protected by such agreements, regardless of their trade union membership.

The proposed strike action could potentially involve all Klarna employees in Sweden, but the exact number is yet to be determined. If a collective agreement is established, it would cover all employees within the country.

Despite the escalating tensions, Klarna’s CEO, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, expressed his willingness to continue discussions. However, he stated his reluctance to sign the proposed collective agreement, seeking clarification from the union regarding banks obligated to comply with European Banking Authority and Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority rules.

Employee Opinions Vary

According to Sen Kanner, the establishment of a collective bargaining agreement would change Klarna’s current top-down decision-making approach, granting employees the chance to voice their opinions before changes are finalized.

However, not all employees at Klarna support the strike action. Trade union Akavia, which has approximately 100 members at Klarna, has decided against a sympathy strike, expressing a desire to continue discussions with the company to reach an agreement acceptable to its members.

Impact on Employees

Last week, Klarna also announced plans to outsource some operations and customer service roles to Accenture and Foundever, potentially affecting up to 500 roles. Sen Kanner, who is among those affected, expressed her determination to stay at Klarna despite the stressful situation.

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