Initiatives in favour of equality and low-wage groups have resulted in higher salaries
Over the last two years women blue-collar workers’ wages have increased by 8.7 per cent and those of male blue-collar workers by 8.3 per cent. The wage gap between women and men has accordingly decreased, which was the purpose of the initiative in favour of equality and low-wage earners, co-ordinated by the LO and its affiliates in the latest round of wage negotiations.
This appears from the LO’s latest Wage Report 2009.
Even if the wage gap between women and men has decreased, men’s wages are still clearly higher than those of women. Among blue-collar workers the average monthly pay is 19,600 SEK for women and 22,500 SEK for men, that is 2,900 SEK more for men.
It is positive that our efforts for women and for low-wage groups in the last negotiating round have been successful. The strong co-ordination of the LO affiliates showed the way, but it is also important to continue the work in the coming negotiating rounds to eradicate inequalities, Per Bardh, LO negotiating secretary comments.
Also between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers, wages have evened out to some extent over the past two years. The wages of blue-collar workers have increased by 8.3 per cent, while the increase of white-collar worker wages was 8.2 per cent. This may seem a marginal difference but it is for the first time in over ten years that wages have increased more for blue-collar workers than for white-collar workers.
However, the wage gap between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers has never been deeper, as the average blue-collar worker wage is 21,300 SEK and that of a white-collar worker 30,600 SEK, which means a difference of 9,300 SEK or 44 per cent. This represents a clear increase compared to the figures from 1999, when the wage gap was 5,400 SEK or 36 per cent.
The wage gap between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers is much too wide. LO members must benefit more from the scope available for wage increases in the future, so that wage disparities come down to more acceptable levels, Per Bardh states.