Today was the starting day of the Stockholm bus drivers strike against the poor circumstance around their working hours, salary and very restricted breaks. This was meant to mark to the government that this cannot stand, that they need proper contracts and that lives are at stake when a bus driver is stressed, fatigued and just about starving.
The sitting government, lead by the right-wing party Moderaterna has long been against the Collective Treaty (kollektivavtalet) that ensures these workers rights and it was a great surprise to many that it was their youth party, MUF, that decided to act as a free commute service between the city’s two hospitals. They did this under the mask of giving service to those who needs it, but is that really what is going on?
In Sweden, if you are in need of medical care, the ride to the hospital is free, no matter how you get there. If you can’t take the bus, for whatever reason it may be, you can get the fare from the taxi refunded. If you have a friend that can drive you, that friend can get the gas money and parking fare refunded. If you have an emergency, the ambulance ride is free.
With all these options that are free for the patient, why would you need a “free commute service”? The short answer is that there is no need for it. It is just the right-wing parties once again showing that they don’t mind trampling on the workers rights and will do all in their power to make sure the power is in the hands of the employers and corporate heads.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see the benefits of having a capitalistic market, but the needs of the people far outweighs this. Right now, we are too close to the times when Sweden were a socialistically inclined country. We went straight from that to capitalism, with no transition. This isn’t any growing pains we’re feeling, it’s the pain of the bones popping out their sockets as we are being stretched out with force!
As long as things like the Anthea Line is allowed to happen, Sweden will be moving closer and closer to ruin. The people can feel it, the voices have gone from a grumbling murmur to screams on the streets, as just a few weeks ago there were riots on the streets, cars being burned, stones and rocks thrown at police and firefighters in several cities in the country. This is not the beginning of something better, this is the beginning to a bloody revolution and the Government needs to start seeing that and change their ways. If they want Sweden to become a capitalistic country, allow us to grow into it, make the changes gradual and give everyone an equal chance to adapt, don’t just throw all the sick and disabled onto the streets, as they have done the past few years, don’t just tear apart the very contract that Sweden is built upon, the Collective Treaty, as they have done for the past few years, don’t just move the debts from the Government funds to the poor and move the taxes from the rich to the poor, as they have done for the past few years, don’t force the young and old to work for free and give the corporations money for the “kindness of letting them work”, because that is nothing short of slavery.
Change your ways, Government, before it is too late. Sweden might get upset with one Anthea Line, but if there’s ever a second, I’m afraid every City Hall from Skåne to Haparanda will be set on fire!