Swedish Trade Union Confederation

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Swedish Trade Union Confederation
Swedish Trade Union Confederation
Landsorganisationen i Sverige (LO)
Swedish LO.svg
Founded7 August 1898; 122 years ago (1898-08-07)
HeadquartersStockholm, Sweden
Location
Members
1.23 million
Key people
Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, president
AffiliationsITUC, ETUC
Websitewww.lo.se

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Swedish: Landsorganisationen i Sverige, literally "National Organisation in Sweden"), commonly referred to as LO, is a national trade union centre, an umbrella organisation for fourteen Swedish trade unions that organise mainly "blue-collar" workers. The Confederation, which gathers in total about 1.5 million employees out of Sweden's 10 million people population, was founded in 1898 by blue-collar unions on the initiative of the 1897 Scandinavian Labour Congress and the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which almost exclusively was made up by trade unions.[1] In 2019 union density of Swedish blue-collar workers was 60%,[2] a decline by seventeen percentage points since 2006 (blue-collar union density in 2006: 77%). A strongly contributing factor was the considerably raised fees to union unemployment funds in January 2007 made by the new centre-right government.[3][4]

Organisation[edit]

LO-borgen (Swedish: 'the LO-castle'), the landmark LO headquarters building by Swedish architect Ferdinand Boberg, at Norra Bantorget in Stockholm. 59°20′8.9″N 18°3′17.2″E / 59.335806°N 18.054778°E / 59.335806; 18.054778

The fourteen affiliates of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation span both the private and the public sector. The member unions are fully independent, with the role of the Confederation limited to the co-ordination of wage bargaining, international activities, trade union education and other areas. Another important task is to promote the organisation's views to decision-makers and the general public. It also has representatives on the governing bodies of many government authorities. The Confederation is also responsible for research and signing labour market insurance schemes. The member unions, however, carry the responsibility for the administration of the unemployment insurance funds.

While its Danish sister organisation, the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, cut its formal ties to the country's Social Democratic party in 1995, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation maintains a strong cooperation with the Social Democrats. Although the organisations are independent from each other, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation has a representative on the party’s executive committee elected by the Party Congress. Also, both the Confederation and the member unions contribute substantial amounts of money to the party.

Until 1987 there was a system of collective membership in the Social Democratic Party for members in the confederation, in which the local union could apply for membership in the Social Democratic Party, effectively enrolling all its members into the Social Democratic Party. (An individual could decline to be part of this collective membership.)

Until recently, The Swedish Trade Union Confederation owned 50.1% of the evening newspaper Aftonbladet, the largest daily newspaper in Scandinavia (as of 2005). As of 2012, the organisation owns 9% of the newspaper. The organisation bought Aftonbladet in 1956 but sold off 49.9 percent to Norwegian media company Schibsted on 2 May 1996.

The number of member unions have been reduced by mergers. Most recently the Forest and Wood Workers' Union and the Graphic Workers' Union merged into the single union GS Union on 1 June 2009.

Affiliates[edit]

Current affiliates[edit]

Membership of LO affiliates (31 December 2018)[5]
Union Abbreviation Founded Men Women Total Change (2017)
Swedish Building Workers' Union Byggnads 1949 77 512 1 218 78 730 Increase 409
Swedish Electricians' Union SEF 1906 18 518 456 18 974 Decrease 333
Swedish Building Maintenance Workers' Union Fastighets 1936 13 624 12 700 26 324 Decrease 718
GS GS 2009 31 987 6 861 38 848 Decrease 1 096
Swedish Commercial Employees' Union Handels 1906 45 665 77 672 123 337 Decrease 1 001
Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union HRF 1918 10 949 16 017 26 966 Decrease 921
IF Metall IF Metal 2006 200 292 46 543 246 835 Decrease 305
Swedish Municipal Workers' Union Kommunal 1910 108 426 391 728 500 154 Decrease 7 333
Swedish Food Workers' Union Livs 1922 15 317 8 041 23 358 Decrease 1 062
Swedish Painters' Union Målarna 1887 9 833 1 277 11 110 Increase 47
Swedish Paper Workers' Union Pappers 1920 11 722 2 190 13 912 Decrease 370
Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees Seko 1970 53 981 18 175 72 156 Decrease 960
Swedish Musicians' Union SMF 1907 1 805 469 2 274 Decrease 13
Swedish Transport Workers' Union Transport 1897 41 494 8 343 49 837 Decrease 1 889
TOTAL 641 125 591 690 1 232 815 Decrease 15 575
52% 48% Decrease 1.25%

Former affiliates[edit]

Union Abbreviation[6] Founded Left Reason not affiliated Membership (1910)[7] Membership (1954)[8]
Employees' Union of State Power Stations KPF 1921 1970 Merged into SEKO N/A 1,173
State Hospital Personnel Union SSF 1908 1967 Merged into Kommunal 347 7,928
Stockholm Union of Sculptors 1896 1910 Dissolved 32 N/A
Swedish Agricultural Workers' Union SLF 1908 2001 Merged into Kommunal 1,752 38,980
Swedish Bakery and Confectionery Workers' Union Bageri 1896 1922 Merged into Livs 3,168 N/A
Swedish Boilermakers' Union SDF 1903 1948 Merged into Fabriks 154 N/A
Swedish Bookbinders' Union SBbaf 1893 1973 Merged into GF 1,176 11,391
Swedish Brewery Industry Workers' Union SBiaf 1899 1965 Merged into Livs 2,045 7,939
Swedish Bricklayers' Union Murare 1890 1961 Merged into Byggnads 4,082 15,594
Swedish Building Wood Workers' Union Btaf 1924 1949 Merged into Byggnads N/A N/A
Swedish Butchers' Union Slakteri 1904 1922 Merged into Livs 321 N/A
Swedish Chimney Sweeps' Union SSf 1919 1981 Merged into Kommunal N/A 963
Swedish Civil Administration's Employees' Union CPF 1905 1970 Merged into SEKO 220 6,676
Swedish Clothing Workers' Union SBaf 1889 1972 Merged into Beklädnads 2,091 37,959
Swedish Cooperage Union Tunnbinderi 1892 1936 Merged into Trä 314 N/A
Swedish Defence Forces Civilian Employees' Union FCPF 1917 1970 Merged into SEKO N/A 20,016
Swedish Factory Workers' Union Fabriks 1891 1993 Merged into IF 20,195 63,086
Swedish Forest and Wood Workers' Union Skogs- o Trä 1998 2009 Merged into GS N/A N/A
Swedish Forest Workers' Union SSAF 1918 1998 Merged into Skogs- o Trä N/A 36,486
Swedish Foundry Workers' Union Gjutare 1893 1964 Merged into Metall 2,588 11,408
Swedish Gilders' and Glaziers' Union Förgylleri o Glas 1900 1913 Dissolved 282 N/A
Swedish Graphic Workers' Union GF 1973 2009 Merged into GS N/A N/A
Swedish Industrial Union IF 1993 2006 Merged into IF Metall N/A N/A
Swedish Hairdressers' Union FAF 1906 1989 Merged into Handels 46 4,407
Swedish Hat and Fur Workers' Union Hatt o Päls 1922 1933 Merged into SBaf N/A N/A
Swedish Hat Workers' Union Hatt 1903 1922 Merged into Hatt o Päls 117 N/A
Swedish Lithographic Union Litograf 1904 1973 Merged into GF 240 4,712
Swedish Metalworkers' Union Metall 1888 2006 Merged into IF Metall 30,826 234,157
Swedish Miners' Union Gruv 1895 1994 Merged into Metall 2,442 11,939
Swedish Post Union SPF 1886 1970 Merged into SEKO 2,658 17,986
Swedish Prison Employees' Union Vårdpers 1906 1970 Merged into SEKO 496 1,557
Swedish Pulp Operators' Union SP 1920 1946 Merged into Pappers N/A N/A
Swedish Railway Employees' Union SJMF 1899 1970 Merged into SEKO 18,022 64,834
Swedish Road Workers' Union SVaf 1914 1970 Merged into SEKO N/A 16,640
Swedish Saddlemakers' and Upholsterers' Union SSoT 1890 1962 Dissolved 666 5,573
Swedish Sailors' Union SSF 1932 1996 Merged into SEKO N/A 14,487
Swedish Saw Mill Industry Workers Union Sågverks 1897 1949 Merged into SSAF 3,732 N/A
Swedish Sheet Metal Workers' Union SBOP 1893 2000 Merged into Byggnads 1,512 3,505
Swedish Shoe and Leather Workers' Union SSoL 1888 1972 Merged into Beklädnads 3,528 10,882
Swedish Social Insurance Employees' and Insurance Agents' Union FF 1918 2002 Disaffiliated N/A 7,947
Swedish Stone Industry Workers' Union Sten 1897 1970 Dissolved 3,053 5,328
Swedish Stucco Workers' Union Stuckatör 1904 1948 Dissolved 53 N/A
Swedish Tele Union SvT 1901 1970 Merged into SEKO 705 20,718
Swedish Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Union Beklädnads 1972 1993 Merged into IF N/A N/A
Swedish Textile Workers' Union Textil 1898 1972 Merged into Beklädnads 3,443 41,864
Swedish Tile and Slab Workers' Union SKoP 1891 1946 Merged into Fabriks 428 N/A
Swedish Tobacco Industry Workers' Union Tobaks 1889 1964 Merged into Livs 1,910 1,784
Swedish Typographers' Union Typograf 1886 1973 Merged into GF 4,022 15,804
Swedish Wood Industry Workers' Union Trä 1924 1998 Merged into Skogs- o Trä N/A 60,321
Swedish Wood Workers' Union Trä 1889 1924 Dissolved 7,972 N/A
Union of Waiters of the Göteborgssystem in Stockholm GSSF 1905 1910 Dissolved 125 N/A
United Unions DFF 1905 1962 Dissolved 1,707 14,687

List of chairmen[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Torvald Karlbom Den svenska fackföreningsrörelsen, Stockholm: Tidens förlag, pp. 45-47
  2. ^ Yearly average in 2019. See Anders Kjellberg (2020) Kollektivavtalens täckningsgrad samt organisationsgraden hos arbetsgivarförbund och fackförbund, Department of Sociology, Lund University. Studies in Social Policy, Industrial Relations, Working Life and Mobility. Research Reports 2020:1, Appendix 3 (in English) Table A
  3. ^ Anders Kjellberg "The Decline in Swedish Union Density since 2007" Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies (NJWLS) Vol. 1. No 1 (August 2011), pp. 67-93
  4. ^ Anders Kjellberg and Christian Lyhne Ibsen (2016) "Attacks on union organizing: Reversible and irreversible changes to the Ghent-systems in Sweden and Denmark", in Trine Pernille Larsen and Anna Ilsøe (eds.)(2016) Den Danske Model set udefra - komparative perspektiver på dansk arbejdsmarkedsregulering, Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, p. 292
  5. ^ Kjellberg, Anders (2017). "The Membership Development of Swedish Trade Unions and Union Confederations Since the End of the Nineteenth Century" (PDF). Lund University. p. 188. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  6. ^ Kjellberg, Anders (2017). The Membership Development of Swedish Trade Unions and Union Confederations Since the End of the Nineteenth Century. Lund University. ISBN 9172673109.
  7. ^ Kjellberg, Anders (2017). The Membership Development of Swedish Trade Unions and Union Confederations Since the End of the Nineteenth Century. Lund University. p. 198. ISBN 9172673109.
  8. ^ Mitchell, James P. (1955). Directory of Labor Organizations: Europe. Washington DC: United States Department of Labor. pp. 27.19–27.34.