Union membership figures show positive trend

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The decline in LO’s union membership rate has slowed down. Recent statistics indicate that the intensive work done in order to inform about the advantages of being a union member has been worthwhile.
The downturn of the membership rate of LO unions started 16 years ago and accelerated during 2007 and 2008. The decrease in 2007 and 2008 was largely due to political decisions which impaired the situation of union members. Simultaneously, changes in the labour market rules introduced by the government resulted in increased precarious employment, such as short fixed-term jobs and temporary agency work. This affected especially those having recently entered the labour market, mainly young people and migrant workers. It is among these groups that the most substantial membership losses for LO affiliated unions have taken place.

In 2011 however, despite a decrease of the number of active members by 0.8 per cent – totally 11.000 members - the downward trend reversed and the LO unions welcomed a total number of 113.000 new members.

LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin foresees ongoing hard work ahead as regards the membership rate but she is hopeful about the future.

- The fact that the number of LO members has diminished can be related to structural changes. Still, the drop in the membership rate of young adults is alarming. We therefore have devoted several years’ intensive work to this and in my opinion we can now consider that our efforts are yielding good results.