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How the Swedish biggest labour Union is gradually dyeing as it fails to innovate
Tuesday, 03 January 2012
Swedish biggest labour Union, LO is continuing to lose more members in 2011. On the flip Unions presenting workers in the service sector such as Unionen are seeing their members increased such that it’s being considered to be one of the biggest in Sweden in the coming years.

Jonas Ivman, responsible for members in the LO Union says that the most worrying is that the union, LO no longer seem to attract the young.

“In the long term it is very serious for the case of next-generation members. It is clear that there is serious concern that we see that that sector will decrease. We see that the decrease among the youngest is up to 25 years,” says Jonas Ivman.

The 14 unions that make up in LO have together continued to lose members in 2011. It is the 16th consecutive year which they see them being less and less attractive to new members although this reduction is not as big as previous years.

To the top of the pile, is drop of about 12 000 active members, down to just over 1.5 million, according to figures up to November and a forecast for December. When the drop was greatest in 2007, the decline was about 120,000 in one year.

But the other groups that operate more with services such as the TCO and SACO grew. Their numbers are not compiled yet, but the trend at mid-year was clear. And the biggest union in the TCO, Union, received in October its 500,000th member.

LO member Union, Kommunal in November dropped to 501,000 members but Unionen continued to grow.
Evidence suggests that the Unionen is now the largest specialist union in Sweden to date.

LO’s failure has to do with its failure to loosen up as time changes. It has not modernised enough and does not seem to have a tract record to do what unions are designed – protecting the interest of its members. If union helps to keep people apart rather than bring them together, then that union becomes something of what nodern young worker would not associate with.

Take for example, Anna Bergsten working in a pharmacy and operates a few steps from the LO castle in Stockholm say that she cannot associate her self with LO because “we have not received proper information about them – for me personally. Since then I think it can be seen as a bit archaic, I think that many strive to go their own way and not get stuck in some old thinking,” she says.
By Scancomark.se Team

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