Grappling with Democracy
Chapter 10: Employee voice in Sweden
The Swedish labor law model is very focused on the social partners and collective solutions to labor market issues. Union members have no statutory rights with respect to the unions, and no voice with respect to employers except through the unions or litigation. Elaborate procedures have been in place concerning the negotiations between the social partners, with extensive rights as to industrial action and “sympathy” or secondary actions lawful. The trends with respect to low damage awards and the relatively higher attorneys’ costs and fees create a significant deterrent for individuals to pursue employment grievances. Litigation is arguably not an affordable option for most individual plaintiffs, particularly in cases of employment grievances with respect to hirings or firings, where individuals are likely to be unemployed.
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