tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

Storyteller #12 – “when the company sneezes…


…the whole town gets a cold.” This is an old saying, repeated to us by storyteller #12, working for a contractor to the Company, LKAB. – You use to say that when LKAB sneezes, the whole town gets a cold, so in these more difficult times we’re also influenced. We’ve had to lower our prices and all contractors have been summoned to LKAB to lower their prices. – Yes, we’ve […]

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Third album out now (in Swedish)!


The third album from the project, “Gruvan makten samhället” (in Swedish), is now on Spotify and soon on the sites of all major digital distributors. On the left-side menu you’ll find the album booklet (in Swedish) in which you can read about all songs. Hope you’ll enjoy it and that you’ll consider spreading it!

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Undermining gender


Johan has read “Mining coal and undermining gender: rhythms of work and family in the American west” by Jessica Smith Rolston (Rutgers University Press, 2014). Here are some of his reflections: At the outset of our project we knew that gender would play an important role, particularly given the history and context of the Kiruna mine (also for the Saskatchewan-case). There’s almost a mythology around the miner, a man of few […]

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Storyteller #11 – having to move


Storyteller #11 is a local person, working for a contractor to LKAB and the Kiruna mine. This story is about having to move because of the expansion of the mine. The conversation takes place at a local restaurant. – Because we live in this area that will be teared down. All these houses are affected. [detailing where exactly this area is]   – How do you think about this? – […]

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Storyteller #10 – education and a good salary


Storyteller #10 is a young person working under ground, educated through the LKAB program at the gymnasial level. – How did you get into the mine? – I went to the LKAB gymnasium (a specific program at the local gymnasium in Kiruna) and then you automatically get an internship during Summer, and sometimes I continued (working) during Summers. When I graduated I ended up under ground. [talk about the content […]

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Storyteller #9 – first line managers


Storyteller #9, a man, started working for the company before the famous worker collective strike in 1969/70. Working in a variety of positions, he reflects on the current, tough requirements on the first line managers in the company. – …the first line managers have, first of all, upper management who pressures them from above. Then they have coworkers who pressure them as well. They are placed between two fires. […] […]

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Reading interviews…


As noted in the Storyteller-posts, we’ve started to read interviews related to the Kiruna mine. This awoke a discussion between us on how much we should allow theories and concepts to guide our reading. On one hand, lets just read them and trust our reading. After all, we know what we’re interested in. Don’t we? On the other hand, lets fine-tune a coding scheme based on an extended view of […]

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Storyteller #8 – contractors


Storyteller #8 is a man, working above ground, a white collar. This story is about the role of contractors. – I’d say that the majority of the jobs (done by contractors) are done by local companies. If you look at international companies, they have a relatively small share, particularly if you compare with geographical areas that are closer to the rest of Europe. It’s pretty far up to Kiruna or Malmberget, […]

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Storyteller #7 – wrong research strategy


We met storyteller #7 for the first time in a hotel lobby in Kiruna. He is an experienced miner, a man, presently working above ground. After talking to us for a while, he concludes that our research strategy is wrong. – Actually, you’re doing this the wrong way, I have to say. If I were you I’d first go around and observe (inside the gates), first get an understanding (of […]

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Storyteller #6 – visibility and organizational change


Storyteller #6 is a man who have worked above ground for 20 years, previously as a worker, now as a manager. His story is one about visibility and organizational change. – When you change from under ground to above ground … (is that a change from ‘we’ to ‘them’?) – That there are different practices of work, or? – ‘We get the stone up, but you…’ – [—] Everybody works together […]

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Storyteller #5 – management


This story about management is told by a man who have been working in the mine for a quarter of a century, both under and above ground, previously as a worker, now as a manager. – I have my own theory: that it’s more trustworthy, for those (workers) who have to change, when a (a leader with experience of working in a mine) comes. ‘He’s one of us, so he […]

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Storyteller #4 – work and culture


Our storyteller #4 is a man, born and raised in Kiruna, a long-time miner, but who has now left LKAB. Below is a short but rather layered story on work and culture: – There is a kind of escape tendency at LK(AB), people are curious about trying something new since LK is rather controlled. It’s a big company, there are a lot of meetings, there are unbelievably many protocols, and it shall… […]

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Organizing rocks goes to Krakow!


On November 9-13, we are invited to Krakow, Poland, to give talks and live concerts about Organizing rocks, at the Jagiellonski University as well as down town Krakow. It’s a fantastic opportunity to tell stories on research method and on mining, labour and power, through a mix of talking, showing images and videos, and playing music. Perhaps the most evident, positive effect (so far) from our decision to go public from […]

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Storyteller #3 – the dream factory


Our third storyteller is a man, born and raised in Kiruna. He has been working under ground since the 1980s. The story is about leaving, arriving and staying at the dream factory, a k a the mine and LKAB. It comes out of a discussion about a mutual friend of ours leaving LKAB. – Yes, sure, there are those who have come and gone, and that have left in other […]

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