The largest union at the Swedish car company Saab wants to see money for the 1,500 employees at the factory. To this end, a reminder has been sent to the company. After receipt, Saab legally has seven days to respond. If that does not happen, the association can file for Saab’s bankruptcy.

That said the now resigned Saab board member Håkan Skött of the association IF Metall on Monday. Saab’s 1,500 employees were told on Thursday that they were not being paid a salary. The trade unionist said he did not yet know whether bankruptcy would indeed be filed if there was no response.
The Saab employees, thanks to a collective agreement between the unions and the Swedish Swedbank, can borrow up to 20,000 kroner (about 2,100 euros) to support themselves. IF Metall reported on Monday that there are already a few dozen people affected who use it. The union expects this number to rise.

According to the Swedish Association of Auto Parts Suppliers (FKG), Saab now has a debt of approximately 60 million euros with its suppliers. Nearly seventy claims, worth three million euros, have been forwarded by the suppliers to the Swedish judicial bailiff in recent weeks.

At the beginning of 2011, approximately 4300 people were employed at Saab’s approximately 800 large and small suppliers. Nearly 500 of these have been made redundant in recent months: 200 at IAC, which makes instrument panels, 163 at car seat manufacturer Lear, 50 at bumper manufacturer Plastal and 57 at two logistics companies. Twenty Saab advisors from technical agency i3tex are facing the same fate.

Should Saab disappear completely, the short-term impact on the Swedish economy will be limited. This is apparent from an analysis (end of April) by one of Sweden’s most important banks, Nordea. “With the loss of Saab, Swedish industrial production will fall by one percent and per capita income by 0.2 percent. In other words, slightly more than about 50 euros per Swedish citizen,” explains economist Bengt Roström of the bank.

“In total, 8250 people are likely to become unemployed, especially in Gothenburg and Trollhättan. But because the Swedish economy is very strong at the moment, many will find new jobs relatively quickly,” Roström said. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 27 June 2011)