To be unionized in Sweden
Union membership comes with a lot of benefits and close to 75% of all white-collar workers in Sweden are union members. You have the right to join a trade union without it affecting your relationship with the employer in a negative way.
The Swedish model
Sweden has a long tradition of trade union work - the Swedish model was founded in 1938. The Swedish labour market is regulated both by laws, which provide the minimum level for the working conditions, and by collective agreements that supplement with more and better conditions. The trade unions and the employers jointly agree on the content of the collective agreement. This is called The Swedish model.
One advantage of regulating working conditions through collective agreements is that we can impact our working conditions based on the specific needs we have in our workplace. A prerequisite for the Swedish model to work is a high number of members, meaning that many employees in the workplace are members of a trade union.
Read more about the Swedish model
Your right to unionize
The basis for trade unions is the right of association (föreningsrätten). It means that employees have the right to belong to organizations without the state or other actors (such as employers) intervening. Employees thus have the right to belong to a trade union. As unorganized, you do not have the right to co-determination, and you do not have the right to negotiation support from the union in the event of a conflict at work. Being a union member is beneficial.
There are roughly 50 trade unions in Sweden. Most of the unions are members of one of the central organizations LO, TCO or Saco. Saco is Sweden's central organization of academics. It is a non-partisan association of 21 independent trade unions for academics and gathers 940,000 graduates in total. Saco’s mission is to fight for education to pay off.
Read more about SACO
Union for University Graduates at Scania / Akademikerföreningen på Scania (AF) represents all academics at Scania who are members of a Saco union. AF was founded at Scania in 1956. Today we have more than 3300 members and are growing steadily. Our target is for Scania to be an attractive employer and workplace for our members. We raise our members' interests in negotiations, boards and other forums within Scania. AF has the same fighting mission as Saco: Education should pay off.
There are several benefits of being an AF member. For example:
- Advice and support in working life
- Career coaching
- Salary statistics
- Income insurance
- Opportunity to make an impact
- A Scania network with 3300 members, incl over 500 managers
- Member newsletter, member meetings and other current information in English