Swedish trade unions
Workers in Sweden enjoy some of the highest benefits in the world in terms of vacation, health care, employer-paid continuing education and employment protection. This is due to a cooperative effort between trade unions and employers.
Nearly 70 percent of Swedish workers belong to a trade union, making Sweden one of the most unionized countries in the world. For these millions of members, trade unions provide special insurance policies, coaching and representation for contract negotiations and legal support. From considering a contract to losing a job and becoming unemployed, unions can strengthen your bargaining position throughout your career through their legal expertise and negotiation privileges.
Union organizations may help workers achieve fair and reasonable wages, ensure equal treatment, provide added pension and unemployment insurance and generally promote other social issues. The same rights also apply to those who are not members of a union. The Swedish labor market is built on a long heritage of negotiations between businesses, trade unions and the government, so all parties generally agree about the basic conditions. For employers, offering good working conditions is also a competitive advantage.
About 1.7 million of the blue-collar workers in Sweden, those who perform work other than office work, belong to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), an umbrella organization for 14 Swedish trade organizations in both the public and private sectors.
There are also two large unions to which the majority of white-collar workers, office workers, in Sweden belong. The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) is the largest, with about 1.3 million members. It is also an umbrella organization, working at national and international levels on issues covering job satisfaction, development and opportunities, as well as other labor-related issues.
The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco) has approximately 600,000 union members who represent about two dozen independent groups, including economists, lawyers, architects, doctors, teachers and other professions that require a college or university degree.
Contact a trade union
Contact information for the central organizations of the three largest Swedish trade unions:
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)
Swedish Trade Union Confederation
105 53 Stockholm
Phone +46 (0)8 796 25 00
Fax +46 (0)8 796 25 17
The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco)
Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations
Lilla Nygatan 14, Gamla Stan
111 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 (0)8 613 48 00
Fax +46 (0)8 24 77 01
The Swedish Confederation of Employees (TCO)
Swedish Confederation of Employees
114 94 Stockholm
Phone +46 (0)8 782 91 00