Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, President of LO Sweden
Organisational issues Besides coordinating the 14 LO affiliates in labour market matters, increased equality is also a priority issue for LO President.
Three key areas in focus
Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson indicates three areas that are particularly important for LO to focus on. The first one is to achieve a better functioning labour market.
- Unemployment is still high, although the labour market is developing positively. Large groups are far away from the labour market. It is important to maintain the goal that Sweden should have the lowest unemployment in the EU by 2020.
- In order to meet future challenges, we need sharp economic policy proposals. The risk is that we take out too much in profits today, without investing in necessary future projects.
United efforts for greater equality
The second focus area is increased equality.
- I want to be able to stop stating that Sweden is the European country where the social gaps are growing fastest. Instead I want to be able to say the opposite, that Sweden is the country where the social gaps decrease most rapidly.
- To a large extent equality is about equal opportunities for women and men. We must ensure that we actually succeed to achieve the LO goal to halve the pay gap between women and men by 2028.
School is vital
The school system should guarantee all children a good education. School is the third key priority, says Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson.
- School is vital for an equal society. We know that it is LO members' children who have the least access to a good education. A more equitable school system is an important message from LO Congress and an area we will focus on in full force.
The importance of a government led by Social Democrats
With the government led by Social Democrats in place, LO has better chances to exert influence, says LO President. The government has succeeded considering the difficult parliamentary situation in Sweden. It has shown that it is prepared to invest in welfare.
Since 2014, Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson has been Deputy President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). He has also been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Goal 8 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which concerns decent work and economic growth.
- I have the international work very much at heart. Globalisation has positive effects but it also entails difficult challenges that we must address together.
Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson was elected President of LO at the Congress in 2012 and re-elected at the latest Congress in June 2016.