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The politics of swedish industrial relations model: de-centralization of collective bargaining system and trade union movement response strategies

  • Journal of the Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Abbr : JSSK
  • 2019, (23), pp.31-68
  • Publisher : The Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > North Europe(Scandinavian)
  • Received : May 29, 2019
  • Accepted : June 24, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Cho, Donmoon 1

1가톨릭대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Sweden was no exception to the trend of de-centralization of collective bargaining in the context of neo-liberal globalization and unionization rate decline. This study examines how the Swedish union movement responds to the decline in the unionization rate and the decentralization of collective bargaining, and try to explain how union movement’s response strategies could check capitalists’ attempts to centralize collective bargaining and restore the Swedish industrial relations model. To this end, this study analyzes in depth the process and outcomes of collective bargaining over the 2017 Industrial Agreement. The findings of this study can be summarized as followings. First, the Swedish collective bargaining system can be divided into three periods for comparison: the centralized three-level bargaining system, the decentralized two-level bargaining system with decentralization, and the coordinated two-level bargaining system with the FI industrial agreement. Second, coping with various challenges such as the weakening of the union organizational power and the decentralization of the collective bargaining system in the trend of neoliberal globalization, Swedish labor union movement has practiced the strategy to strengthen its bargaining power by organizing a new common bargaining body across borders among union confederations. Third, the FI industrial agreement strategy plays the role of a substitute for the LO-SAF central bargaining through LO’s role of coordinating industry-level collective bargainings and the pattern-setter role of the industrial agreement. Fourth, the low-wage initiative introduced in the 2017 industrial agreement could put into practice the solidarity wage policy without the presence of solidarity wage system.

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