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Nordic unions’ experiences of and attitudes towards union cooperation within Europe

Conference paper
Authors Bengt Larsson
Mattias Bengtsson
Published in The 6th Nordic Working Life Conference, Elsinore, Denmark, April 25th-27th 2012
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Language en
Keywords industrial relations, Nordic regime, sector, union action
Subject categories Sociology


This paper analyzes how Nordic trade unions cooperate with unions in Europe. We examine similarities and differences between the Nordic countries and between unions in different sectors, and make some comparisons with unions in other European countries. As a background, we first present the Nordic model(s) of industrial relations. Thereafter follows an analysis based on a survey carried out in 2010-11. The results show strong similarities between the Nordic countries regarding transnational union cooperation and union action, but also that there is greater diversity between sectors than between countries. The internationally exposed manufacturing sector is the most engaged in transnational cooperation, followed by the construction industry. The more sheltered services sector has a somewhat lower degree of cooperation, and the professional/academic unions are the least engaged.

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