More bad news for unions

Nearly one in ten members left the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) last year, and the trend has continued into 2008.

Altogether 129,413 members left LO in 2007, according to statistics published in the groups newspaper, LO-Tidningen.

Now demands are intensifying to create measures to stop the outflow of members.

At the union’s upcoming congress, the governing board plans to present a proposal that will make recruitment of new members a high priority.

The union’s membership losses aren’t concentrated in any particular group; the numbers are spread evenly between the sexes and across different age groups and there doesn’t appear to be a general explanation for the losses.

The largest drop is among those who are unemployed and studying, a group which currently doesn’t get much out of union membership, admits Begnt Hallberg who manages a recruiting project for the confederation.

Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union has been hit the hardest, losing a fifth of their members. Membership in the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union has also dropped precipitously, having lost 3,594 members so far this year.