Should foreign workers in sweden join a union?

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Raheem Kozey asked a question: Should foreign workers in sweden join a union?
Asked By: Raheem Kozey
Date created: Sat, Jul 3, 2021 3:00 AM
Date updated: Fri, Jan 14, 2022 8:12 PM

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Sounds like a very good idea to me. Unions can guide you when it comes to law and collective bargaining, areas which are a nightmare to figure out on your own in a foreign country. In Sweden, they work pretty much the way they’re supposed to, look...

Sweden has one of the world’s most unionized workforces, with around 70 percent of workers a member. You can choose to join a union that’s related specifically to your profession (for example, Lärarförbundet for teachers, Sveriges Ingenjörer for engineers) or one which covers a wider range. Swedish trade unions are grouped into three umbrella ...

Over the past century the union movement has been integral in creating Sweden’s generous work conditions and by extension the famed welfare state. Some foreigners may choose not to join because they feel they’ve successfully negotiated their own pay and conditions.

The level of union membership in Sweden is high, around 70% of the working population are union members. A few good reasons to join a Swedish trade union: Help if you are mistreated at work. Get guidance and counselling in career choices.

Swedish workers are highly unionized even though memberships have declined since the mid nineties. About 69% of all employees belong to a union today. Yet, this is a big decline compered to the 90% of the nineties.

Figures from the three confederations indicate that the majority of trade unionists in Sweden are women. In LO, women are in a minority, making up 46% of total membership. However, women account for 59% of the membership of TCO unions and 54% of Saco’s membership. [20] Union density is also higher among women, at 72%, than among men, at 64%.

Firstly we will consider the questions related to membership in the Swedish Building Workers’ Union (Byggnads). Employees working in the following occupations can join the Byggnads: Naturally, membership in the Byggnads is not compulsory, but it can be beneficial if you are operating in the construction field in Sweden.

The figures [1] make clear the great variety of levels of union membership, ranging from 74% of employees in Finland, 70% in Sweden and 67% in Denmark, to 10% in Estonia and 8% in France and Lithuania. However, it must at once be noted that union membership is not the only indicator of strength.

As an EU/EEA citizen you have the right to work in Sweden without a work and residence permit. If you want to work in Sweden and come from a country that is not a part of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must have work and residence permits.

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