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SWEDEN: Union eyes state wage deadline warily as Saab and Pang Da put on joint front

By Simon Warburton | 12 October 2011

Saab's largest white collar union says it is eyeing carefully a looming deadline for Swedish state wages guarantee as the automaker insists its cooperation with Chinese distributor Pang Da is still on track.

Rumours have been swirling in Sweden that Pang Da could end its involvement with the troubled manufacturer currently in administration - a situation both parties have clarified today (12 October) - but Saab workers only have until 21 October before the state guarantee runs out.

"If the situation continues, we will act," Unionen chief legal adviser Martin Waestfelt told just-auto from Sweden. "The critical day for us is 27 October because it is the date for the payment for Unionen members. Of course we are analaysing and thinking about the situation.

"When we say act, we say bankruptcy, but first we have to do in the same way we did in June, July and August [letter to Saab regarding late salary payments]. Until the money from the guarantee fund is empty, it is not critical for us to act."

A statement from Saab and approved by Pang Da noted they had "taken notice" of media reports questioning the validity of the partnership agreements between them.

"Saab Automobile and Pang Da underline that these reports are based on a misunderstanding," noted the statement.