Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Swedish Model

9 December 1969
Miners in the Kirunavaara Mine, North Sweden, c 1959; photo Swedish National Heritage Board (on Wikimedia Commons)

The 1950s and 1960s in Sweden were a period of labour market peace. The Swedish social system was highly appreciated by many observers from abroad: Sweden was referred to as 'a prototype of Modern Society'. In December 1969 industrial peace had reached the end of the road. In dissatisfaction with a local wage negotiations, 35 miners in the Norrbotten ore-fields stopped work on a sit-down strike on 9 December, which rapidly spread to all workers in the state-owned mines in the area. Two days later 4800 workers were on strike. The miners strike triggered many subsequent wildcat strikes including one at the Volvo plant in Gothenburg in January 1970.

Read more? Christer Thörnqvist, 'From blue-collar wildcats in the 1970s to public sector resistance at the turn of a new millennium' in: Strikes around the World, 1968-2005 (Amsterdam 2007)