LO claims members are satisfied

Swedish union organisation LO claims its members are pleased with the job it is doing.

Some 8,000 members took part in a survey for the powerful union confederation, answering questions about issues such as wages and job security. The poll was the fifth carried out by LO in the past twenty years.

“The report confirms that what we do is legitimate. There haven’t been any big changes compared to the picture we had before” said LO spokesman Leif Håkansson.

The union group also asked non-members why they had chosen not to join a union. The two main reasons given were scepticism about the unions’ work and the high membership fees. The number of Swedes who are not union members has increased since the last survey was carried out in 2002.

Exactly how the new rules created by the government concerning unemployment benefits has affected the members’ attitude towards the union is still not clear, since the survey was done in the spring of 2006.

The reforms, which have been vehemently opposed by leaders of the Social Democrat-affiliated unions, will increase membership fees for union-run unemployment benefit schemes and will see tax relief on union membership scrapped.

“One can imagine that many will choose not to join the union,” said Håkansson.

A lack of young members is another cause of concern to unions. Only one in three workers under the age of 25 is an union member.