Svenska modellens borgerliga rötter


  • Svante Nycander


In 1906 Swedish employers and trade unions agreed on the principles of the right to work and the right to organize. Employers preserved management rights, includ- ing the right to employ and to dismiss workers. The closed shop was ruled out. The agreement was reached under the notice of a broad lockout. Employers also enforced a mutual right to sympathetic action, against the opinion of the federa- tion of the unions. The employer’s federation was strictly centralized, while there was little coordination among the unions. Organizing the working class was helped by the willingness of employers to accept the unions on the terms agreed to in 1906. The government did not intervene, and there was virtually no legislation about unions until 1928. In the parliament the liberals held the balance 1905–37. They wanted the government to stay neutral between the two sides of industry and prevented anti-union legislation. Non-socialists shaped the Swedish model more than has been recognized.