TCO and Saco, which represent graduates and office workers, now have almost 1.85 million members, more than LO, which mainly represents manual and low-skilled workers.
The development is a result of structural changes in Sweden’s workforce, according to LO chairwoman Wanja Lundby-Wedin.
“LO was more dominant in a society where the job market had a different structure. We now have more graduates, so this is perhaps a natural consequence,” she told Swedish Radio.
The change in the balance of power between the trade unions could have political implications. LO has close links with the Social Democrats, and has long been seen as an important part of their electoral machinery.
Saco chairwoman Anna Ekström admits openly that the increased membership means more political influence.
“Political parties have to be more and more interested in what Sweden’s graduates think,” she told SR.