Guidelines for the LO Congress: A strategy for more and better jobs

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Increased international competitiveness makes it necessary for Sweden to, also in the future, compete for knowledge. The non-Socialist Government’s policy aimed at creating jobs at any price entails that individuals as well as Sweden as a whole are out-distancing. A policy for full employment shall prepare people for new work tasks. In this way, the companies’ increased demands for vocational knowledge and skills can be met.
This is one of the starting points of the LO Congress Guidelines which the Executive Committee now has adopted and which will be discussed by the LO Congress in May-June.

More and more of the traditionally so-called manual professions require training and often one which is specific to the profession in question. The employers are, at the same time, increasingly reluctant to defray the costs for training which can later be used by other employers. Therefore LO wants to broaden the upper secondary as well as the post-upper secondary vocational training. LO also wants the promotion of vocational training at colleges which in close co-operation with the social partners can be developed to meet the demands of the labour market.

- If Sweden is to continue to develop, everybody must be given the possibility of getting fulfilling jobs with appropriate wages. This requires more of the educational system, and for our groups it is especially important to upgrade the vocational training at the earliest possible date, LO President, Wanja Lundby-Wedin, says.

The LO Executive Committee sees no controversy between legislation and agreements but underlines that vigilance is essential as to demanding legislation when the negotiations do no produce the results wanted. The unsolved issues which today cause most problems are how to deal satisfactorily with non-optional part-time work and insecure employment contracts.

- The greatest problem now is that many people have low and insecure incomes as an effect of being compelled to work part-time and to have temporary employment contracts. We want to attend to this, in the first place, by better collective agreements, but in case that does not work, we have to call for the legislation to be amended, Wanja Lundby-Wedin, says.

In the guidelines, it is also stressed that the general social insurance systems and the unemployment insurance are running the risk of being undermined as a result of the responsibility for these more and more being imputed to the social partners and the individual employees. This development thereby runs the risk of finally ending up with only the basic social security model remaining.

- The unreasonable demands for adjustment which are now being implemented jeopardize the benefits of the insurance. A strong support for the jobs-first policy is important in order to maintain the readiness to pay for a good general welfare policy, but there must be a balance between the demands on the individual, the employer and society, Wanja Lundby-Wedin concludes.