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Do public sector industrial relations challenge the Swedish model?
Research Institute for Work, Technology and Culture, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future. (Medarbetarskap och Organisatorisk resiliens, Followership and Organizational Resilience (FORE))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9449-8393
2018 (English)In: Labor history, ISSN 0023-656X, E-ISSN 1469-9702, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 87-104Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses recent developments in public sector labour relations in Sweden from a historical, gender and power relations perspective. The main question is whether these trends challenge the established Swedish industrial relations system. Our point of departure - yet chronologically also the point of arrival - is the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union, Kommunal's, exit from the coordinated wage setting model within the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO) in 2015/2016. The immediate reason was that Kommunal, representing one-third of the LO members, including many low-paid women, turned down the LO's proposal on a general wage increase for low-wage groups. Instead, Kommunal urged to upgrade wages for a specific member group, the auxiliary nurses. This broke an almost uninterrupted 20-year-long period of labour market cooperation and coordination that was introduced in 1997 through the so-called Industry Agreement (Industriavtalet). This agreement was launched in the wake of the deep financial crisis in the early 1990s, and the neoliberal move towards a complete decentralization of pay negotiations. How should this move by Kommunal be interpreted? Why, and when, has the centralized system become a straitjacket for Kommunal, when for decades it seemingly was a precondition for both private and public union strength?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 59, no 1, p. 87-104
Keywords [en]
Public sector industrial relations, collective bargaining, The Swedish model, male vs, female occupations discrepancies
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Followership and Organizational Resilience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14566DOI: 10.1080/0023656X.2017.1375597ISI: 000415719800007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85032589280OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14566DiVA, id: diva2:1163690
Available from: 2017-12-07 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Thörnqvist, Christer

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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