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Standstill in Sweden threatens to linger

The Swedish Employers' Association Monday extended a 10-day lockout by a week , virtually guaranteeing that the nation's industrial and economic crisis will continue until at least May 18. Strikes and the employer lockouts of nearly 1 million workers resulting from a wage dispute have created shortages of gasoline and food items, stopped air travel, and cut hospital services. Prime Minister Thorbjorn Falldin has said the government will not intervene.

In the private sector, 750,000 workers are locked out and another 100,000 are striking in support of an 11.3-percent pay increase. In the public sector, 14, 000 workers are on strike, 12,000 are locked out, and thousands more have banned overtime in support of a 12-percent raise.

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