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The Swedish Trade Union Confederation ( , literally "National Organisation in Sweden"), commonly referred to as LO, is a national trade union centre, an umbrella organisation for fifteen Swedishmarker trade unions that organise mainly "blue-collar" workers. The Confederation, which gathers in total almost two million employees, was founded in 1898 by members of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

Organization

The fifteen 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 representatatives 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, carries the responsibility for the administration of the unemployment insurance funds.

While its Danishmarker 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.

Swedish unions have traditionally had a high organisation rate. Almost 80 percent of the employees within the Swedish Trade Union Confederation's area of organisation are union members.

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 Democractic Party. (An individual could decline to be part of this collective membership.)

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation owns 50.1 percent of the evening newspaper Aftonbladet, the largest daily newspaper in Scandinavia ( ). The organization bought Aftonbladet in 1956 but sold off 49.9 percent to Norwegianmarker media company Schibsted on May 2, 1996.

The number of member unions have been reduced by mergers. Most recently, the Industrial Union and the Metalworkers' Union, merged into a single union, IF Metall on January 1, 2006.

Affiliates

  1. Building Maintenance Workers' Union (Fastighetsanställdas Förbund)
  2. Building Workers' Union (Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet, colloquially "Byggnads")
  3. Commercial Employees' Union (Handelsanställdas Förbund, colloquially "Handels")
  4. Electricians' Union (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet, "SEF")
  5. Food Workers' Union (Svenska Livsmedelsarbetareförbundet)
  6. Forest and Wood Workers' Union (Skogs- och Träfacket)
  7. Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union (Hotell och Restaurang Facket, "HRF")
  8. Graphic Workers' Union (Grafiska Fackförbundet - Mediafacket)
  9. IF Metall following the January 1, 2006 merger of
  10. Municipal Workers' Union (Svenska Kommunalarbetareförbundet, colloquially "Kommunal")
  11. Musicians' Union (Svenska Musikerförbundet, "SMF")
  12. Painters' Union (Svenska Målareförbundet)
  13. Paper Workers' Union (Svenska Pappersindustriarbetareförbundet, colloquially "Pappers")
  14. Transport Workers' Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet, colloquially "Transport")
  15. Union for Service and Communications Employees (Facket för Service och Kommunikation, "SEKO")


See also



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