Union coffers well filled ahead of pay negotiations

Sweden's trade unions are sitting on well-filled coffers following share price rises over the past year, putting them in a strong position ahead of this year's major round of pay negotiations.

The largest unions have earned billions of kronor from rising stock markets. This could be bad news for Swedish employers, as it means that unions would be able to finance long periods of industrial action.

According to Dagens Nyheter, white-collar union Sif has assets of 14 billion kronor, blue-collar IF Metall has 6.5 billion, local government workers’ union Kommunal has 3.5 billion, builders’ union Byggnads has 2.5 billion and communication workers union Seko has assets of 1.35 billion kronor.

Sif has put aside 10,000 kronor per member into a strike account, which is worth a total of 3 billion kronor. This would cover a strike of 15 days. The union could call on further cash reserves if needed.