Espen Loken and Eric Lee spent two days in Stockholm this week as the guests of the the LO-TCO Secretariat of International Trade Union Development Co-operation to discuss the re-launch of LabourStart in Sweden.
Even though the Swedish labour movement is one of Europe’s most powerful (with well over three million members), LabourStart has never successfully been engaged there, and our mailing list is barely more than 200 (while in neighboring Norway, it’s nearly 3,000). Early in the week we had 8 Swedish correspondents none of whom has been active recently.
The first day the Secretariat organized a two-hour workshop at the national headquarters of TCO, one of Sweden’s national trade union centers, which was attended by representatives of a number of unions including public sector workers and teachers. As a result of that meeting, six new correspondents were signed up and the unions renewed their commitment to translating and promoting LabourStart campaigns.
The following day, Espen and Eric met with several staffers at LO (the other big trade union center) to discuss cooperation. One idea which was floated (no commitments here yet) was to host the next (2016) LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference in Stockholm following the LO conference in May-June, which will also be attended by a number of international guests. Yesterday afternoon, Eric had further meetings at the Secretariat and with staff at the food workers union.
As part of the process of reinvigorating our dormant Swedish site, we’ve had to make a number of tweaks and improvements to the site. Meanwhile, our small Swedish mailing list has started to grow, picking up 10% more subscribers in just the last two months.