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

Storyteller #31 – the role of the union


Next storyteller is one of the local ombudsmen for one of the unions. Our conversation is about how he keeps in contact with the members and what they are interested in. Below, he talks about how members tend to enrol the union in a rather short-sighted way:

The members are active when there is a wage movement. Or when jobs are threatened. Then they come. […] Very seldom do they come and say ‘what if we did it like this’, ‘what if we should start working with this instead’, you know, more forward-looking ideas. It just doesn’t work. Take an issue like their pensions. If I go and talk about pensions and the future, talking to a 25-years old, well, first, he hasn’t even heard of co-workers retiring. It’s so far away. They’re not interested in these issues. Those who are interested are those about to retire, but for them it is too late.