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Klarna Avoids Strike Following Agreement With Swedish Unions

Klarna

Klarna has reached an accord with its union workers as it apparently prepares to go public.

The two unions — Engineers of Sweden and Unionen — had been prepared to strike this week if an agreement with the buy now, pay later (BNPL) company was not met. But the parties announced Friday (Nov. 3) that Klarna had signed a collective agreement.

“I am happy that we reached an agreement that combines Klarna’s rapid mobility with the clarity of the Swedish model,” Klarna co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in a news release.

“Our focus in the negotiations has been to secure operational freedom, to continue to be able to make quick decisions and continue to cultivate our unique and successful culture, which thousands of employees have expressed their appreciation for this week.”

Added Camilla Frankelius, head of negotiations for Engineers of Sweden: “With a collective agreement in place, we strengthen the influence of the employees at Klarna while securing the conditions. Through today’s decision, Klarna demonstrates social responsibility and shows the way for strong Swedish tech companies.”

The parties had reached a standstill in negotiations last month, with the unions accusing Klarna of repeatedly canceling and postponing negotiation sessions. 

And Siemiatkowski wrote in a now-deleted post on X/Twitter that the unions told employees they would “be locked out and lose their pay” if they didn’t take part in a strike.

The news comes amid reports that Klarna could be preparing to go public in Great Britain via an initial public offering (IPO). 

The British news outlet Sky reported Saturday (Nov. 4) — citing unnamed sources — that Klarna had told investors it was preparing to list early next year by setting up a U.K. holding company.

“We have initiated a process for a legal entity restructuring to set up a U.K. holding company as an important early step on a journey towards an eventual IPO,” a company spokesperson told Sky News.

PYMNTS has contacted Klarna for comment but has not yet received a reply. These events are happening at a time when BNPL continues to be a popular method of payment, particularly for younger shoppers.

“Younger generations, particularly millennials and Generation Z, who are burdened by credit card debt and high interest rates, are leading the charge in adopting BNPL as their preferred payment option,” PYMNTS wrote recently.

In fact, 28% of millennial and Generation Z consumers surveyed reported that they would abandon a purchase if BNPL were not a checkout option.