LO unions shed members

Swedish blue collar trade unions are haemmoraging members: more than 80,000 people have quit unions belonging to the LO union confederation this year, costing LO up to 17 million kronor in lost revenue.

The figures were revealed by LO-Tidningen, LO’s in-house journal.

If the fall in union membership continues at the same pace, LO will have lost 100,000 members by the end of the year. The cost for LO will be 16-17 million kronor. The total cost to the confederation’s 15 members is expected to top 300 million kronor.

The financial shortfall will lead to many LO officials losing their jobs.

Union leaders blame the government for the fall. Since coming to power last September, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s centre-right coalition has abolished tax deductions on union membership fees. It has also forced up the fees in the union run, taxpayer funded unemployment insurance schemes.

A large number of members have quit the unions as a result of the increased costs, leaders say.

Pia HÃ¥kansson, treasurer of the Swedish Building Maintenance Workers Union (Fastighets), told LO-Tidningen that women and older people were losing out. She called the government’s reforms “idiotic taxes.”

LO’s loss is unlikely to cause ministers to shed tears: the organization paid between 90 million and 100 million kronor towards the Social Democrats’ election campaign, in addition to also actively campaigning on the party’s behalf.


Tell us why Sweden needs foreign workers

OVER TO YOU: With threats to labour migration mooted The Local is inviting readers to tell us why Sweden needs skilled foreign workers. You can upload your videos or pictures via social media to be part of the debate.

Tell us why Sweden needs foreign workers

Highly skilled employees from overseas have boosted Sweden’s economy, yet the system that allowed them to come is under threat. Now foreigners in Sweden are being asked to stand up and be counted.

Maybe you have moved to Sweden from abroad and are working in a skilled job such as in the IT sector, banking or engineering etc. We are eager to hear your stories and fuel this debate which is already proving to be an election issue.

Don't Miss: Foreign workers in Sweden – In demand but under threat

It's very simple to get involved in this crucial debate. Just do the following:

1. Record a short video – say 30 seconds – on your smartphone telling us why the country requires skilled foreign labour.

2. Upload to a social network, like Vimeo or YouTube.

3. Then tweet the video to @thelocalsweden with the hashtag #kompetensinvandring.

4. If the technology lets you down, you can also send your videos to [email protected].

We'll pick the best ones and may feature them in a future follow-up article.

The Local's Group Managing Editor James Savage gets us started below.

Why we at The Local need foreign workers #kompetensinvandring from [email protected] on Vimeo.

Or if recording a video is too much of a hassle then you can send us a tweet @thelocalsweden telling us why Sweden needs talented immigrants. Feel free to include a picture of you at work.

Don't forget the hashtag #kompetensinvandring, which is being monitored by the Swedish political top brass.