Concept

Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees

Summary
The Confederation of Professional Employees ( TCO Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation, literary White-collar workers' Central Organisation) is a national trade union centre, the umbrella organisation for 12 trade unions in Sweden that organise professional and other qualified employees in both the private and the public sectors. The affiliated trade unions represent about 1.2 million employees. In 2018, the TCO affiliated unions made up 37% of all active trade union members in Sweden (up from 17% in 1950), making the confederation the second largest of Sweden's three major confederations. The largest TCO affiliate is Unionen with 551,000 active members in 2018. TCO is independent and not affiliated to any political party in Sweden. TCO is an affiliate of the European Trade Union Confederation and Eurocadres. TCO is the product of two confederations that merged in 1944. The older organisation was the Confederation of Employees (De Anställdas Centralorganisation or DACO) founded in 1931 by seven private sector white collar unions representing 20,000 workers. The second organisation was the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation TCO) which was founded in January 1937 by eight public sector unions representing 38,000 workers. The two confederations merged in 1944, adopting the name TCO, bringing together 40 trade unions representing 180,000. After World War II membership in the affiliated unions grew rapidly to more than half a million by 1965. Union density in Sweden has been at one of the highest levels in the world, peaking around 85% in the mid-1980s, but since declining to around 70% in 2015. In general, the decline in union density in Sweden has been faster among blue-collar workers and slower among white-collar workers (TCO's base of membership). Between 1990 and 2015, the rate of unionisation of white-collar workers fell from 80.5% to 72%, but for blue-collar workers, the fall was from 82% to 63%. The Forest and Agricultural Service Union merged with Unionen on 1 June 2019.
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