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Facklig gränspolitik: Landsorganisationens invandrings- och invandrarpolitik 1946 - 2009
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Forskarskolan Demokratins villkor)
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns the trade union reaction to immigration as a phenomenon and toimmigrants as a labour force on the Swedish labour market. It concerns trade union politicsregarding immigration and immigrants, from the political decision taken in 1946 to recruitworkers from other countries because of the labour shortage in Sweden, to 2009 when theconflict in the Swedish town of Vaxholm, that was a consequence of the EU’s expansion to theeast and which received such enormous attention in the Swedish media, was given its finalverdict and the continued existence of the “Swedish model” was placed under question. Thestudy focuses on the labour movement’s central trade union organisation in Sweden, in otherwords the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, or LO as it is commonlyabbreviated in Sweden).The basis for the thesis has been that the process of immigration must naturally in the longterm lead to the addition of workers on the labour market, and consequently increasedcompetition amongst workers. The question has been how the interest organisation LO, whoseprimary mission is to protect the wage rates and social conditions for its members, and whichhas the restriction of competition as an overriding strategy, would handle the phenomenon ofimmigration and the existence of immigrants as a labour force on the Swedish labour marketand within the trade union movement, during the course of the study. The choice of LO as afundamental starting point for the study, being as it is an interest organisation with the shorttermobjective of protecting its members’ interests, but also given the organisation’s more longtermobjectives of being an important actor on the labour market and within society, hasinfluenced the choice of the thesis’ central theoretical concepts; strategy, restriction ofcompetition, calculability, power and hegemony. This very starting point, but also the natureof the source materials and a reflection over the immigration process (from immigration toimmigrant workers on the labour market and finally to trade union members), has meant that Ihave chosen to structure the thesis and present my findings based on three different problemareas. I have chosen to refer to these problem areas as boundaries, there LO have dealt withvarious problems concerning the phenomena of immigration and immigrants on the Swedishlabour market, as well as problems related to some of its own members having foreignbackgrounds. These boundaries consist firstly of an outer boundary that is a physicalboundary, coincident with national boundaries and influencing immigration politics, there LOwas able to consider the scope of the immigration process and make calculations about whatthe resultant addition of new workers, that is a natural consequence of the immigrationprocess, would mean for the labour market. Secondly an inner boundary, that encompasses thelabour market but is more transparent to members of society and influences immigrant politics,there LO was able to consider the terms and conditions that should be made available to theimmigrant workers, in general within society and in particular on the labour market. Finally aninnermost boundary, encompassing the trade union membership, there LO was able to managethe terms and conditions for the immigrant workers within the trade union movement.The thesis’ overriding objective has been to examine LO’s strategies for these threeboundary areas and to see if there is a coherent pattern behind LO’s actions on these threevarying levels. A more theoretical objective with this thesis has been to examine if the possiblepatterns that would appear in LO’s actions within these three boundary areas, could bediscussed from the perspective of a power structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2010. , 452 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in History, ISSN 1650-2418 ; 10
Series
Örebro studies in conditions of democracy, 4
Keyword [en]
trade union movement, interest organisations, labor market, migrant workers, immigration and immigrant politics, boundaries, restriction of competition, strategy, calculability, power and hegemony
National Category
Humanities History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-11264ISBN: 978-91-7668-746-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-11264DiVA: diva2:327214
Public defence
2010-09-24, Hörsal F, Forumhuset, Fakultetsgatan, Örebro universitet, 701 82 Örebro, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-06-28 Created: 2010-06-28 Last updated: 2011-08-30Bibliographically approved

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