Help in Change

What are the benefits of unions in Sweden? Results of the workshop with Anastasia Omelyan

Career Event Network
The second most popular workshop request we get is to tell more about Swedish unions. In Ukraine, this institute is not developed enough to become a separate point of discussion, and the younger generation often looks at it as a relic of the past. However, if you are in Sweden, being a member of a union can be very useful.

We were very happy when our speaker, Anastasia Omelian, agreed to host such a workshop. Anastasia is an administrator, interpreter and communications manager at the Solidarity Builders Association at the branch of the SAC union – Solidariska byggare, Stockholms LS av SAC in Stockholm.

The response to the event was great! The participants not only learned what a union is, but also received information about the types of collective agreements and the rights of employees in Sweden. As a separate point, Anastasia talked about how to protect yourself on the labor market in Sweden.

After the event, we took notes for those who didn’t make it to the workshop.
A union is a voluntary public association of citizens to protect their labor and social rights. It is neither a public or private organization or a company. Unions exist only at the expense of their members. There are 57 unions in Sweden that work in various professional fields.

Advantages of unions
● A union acts as a mediator/negotiator between the worker and the employer
● A union protects workers from exploitation and poor working conditions
● A union provides legal assistance regarding the labor law
● A union defends worker’s interests
● A union improves working conditions in the market in general
● A union is like a type of insurance for work

5 effective tips on how to protect yourself on the job market in Sweden
  1. Join a union and know your rights!
  2. Collect evidence! Take photos and videos of yourself at work, take screenshots of conversations, save copies of timesheets, save customer contacts, record calls, and more.
  3. Keep all debts "fresh"! You have the right to claim back wages ten years after they arose. But in practice, it becomes much more difficult to collect a debt if it is older than three months.
  4. Help each other! Share your experience with others. Show interest and seek reliable information.
  5. Choose a company with a collective agreement! There are many companies that have collective agreements but do not follow them; however, their existence can still mean safety for workers.
Of course, there was much more information at the workshop, and that is why we highly recommend attending our events and signing up while it is possible. See you soon!

ℹ️ The project is funded by the European Social Fund