There were three thousand Saab workers and Trollhattan residents at a vigil in Trollhattan this week. They wanted their voices heard; for the government to know that their jobs were important, too.
They found a predictable ally in Mona Sohlin, leader of the opposition.
The streets of Trollhättan were illuminated by mass of about 600 torch bearers who paraded from Kungsgatan to Drottningtorget where roughly 3,000 people had gathered.
“There’s a huge amount of bitterness and frustration over the government’s policy. People feel like Saab hasn’t been give a chance and I share their anger,” said Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin to TT.
The demonstration came just hours after GM announced a staggering loss for 2008 of $30.9 billion.
It was also just a day or so after the government announced their positive response to Volvo’s request for loan guarantees, despite being a much fatter company with a lot more work to do to trim down to viability.
Another Swedish MP, Berit Högman, has also been touring Trollhattan and advocating action by the government. She not only took a look around Saab, but at some of the surrounding companies that are totally reliant upon Saab for their operations.
She started the day with a visit to the Lear Corporation, which earlier this week alerted 40 employees on termination.
– “A very nice product with good production facility and working environment” summarizes her impression.
– “But they are totally dependent on the automobile industry”
Berit Högman arrived in Trollhättan to see the reality and talk to those involved.
– “I want to hear if they think that our government has done enough, “she says, and shows clearly that she does not like it.
The stopping of production a few days ago was due to a parts supply problem from a company called Schenker, who seem to be a transport and logistics company rather than an actual parts supplier.
The issues with Schenker are now sorted, although Saab’s production on Thursday was also limited due to a shortage of parts.