Sweden - The Swedish agreement model’s big test - February 29, 2016

In 2016 the Swedish wage setting model is being put to its biggest test for several decades. Agreements must be made for some three million employees, but the members of the Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) are split and different demands from different unions and trades risk breaking a nearly 20 year old tradition where the industry has set the norm for wage increases. The wage setting agreement of 1998, introduced a compromise where trade unions promised to respect the wages in the competitive industry and employers backed down from their attempts to wreck central agreements. The industry agreement meant the consensus reached between the parties in the export industry became a standard for other wages. The model has been successful if you consider real-term wage increases and the absence of industrial action. But it is coming under increased criticism. There is growing support for measures aimed at increasing lower wages, especially within female-dominated trade unions like Kommunal (the Municipal Workers’ Union) and Handels (the Commercial Employee’s Union). And there is certainly agreement within LO that the pay gap between women and men should be halved by 2028.

English: http://www.nordiclabourjournal.org/nyheter/news-2016/article …    

For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) cbn-aias@uva.nl or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer wdebacker@etui.org. For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit http://www.etui.org/E-Newsletters/Collective-bargaining-newsletter. Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net.

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