More Swedish nurses join strike

Stockholm  -  A two-week long strike by Swedish nurses was extended at noon (1000GMT) Monday when a further 4,300 nurses walked off their jobs.

The move by the Swedish Association of Health Professionals means that some 7,100 nurses all over the country are on strike.

The labour action took place on the eve of a new meeting Tuesday between the union and the employers' grouped in the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

Union leader Anna-Karin Eklund told Swedish television news that the union planned to attend the meeting at the invitation of mediators. Last week, a spokeswoman for the employers said the strike notice was not conducive to the talks.

Eklund said patients will likely experience some effects from the labour action including the cancellation of scheduled operations as well as longer trips to hospitals or clinics not impacted by rolling strikes.

The union has introduced rolling strikes affecting only one accident and and emergency department at a time in the three main cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo to reduce the threat against patients.

The last major labour action in the Swedish health sector was in 1995. (dpa)