Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden

SAC Syndikalisterna
Full name Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden
Native name Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation
Founded 1910
Members 7.500 in 2004
Affiliation Red and Black Coordination
Key people Liv Marend, Secretary-general
Office location Stockholm, Sweden
Country Sweden
Website www.sac.se

Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden (in Swedish: Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation, SAC - Syndikalisterna) is a syndicalist trade union federation in Sweden. Unlike other Swedish unions, SAC organizes people from all occupations and industries in one single federation, including the unemployed, students, and the retired.[1] SAC also publishes the weekly newspaper Arbetaren ("the Worker"), owns the publishing house Federativs and runs the unemployment fund Sveriges Arbetares Arbetslöshetskassa (SAAK).

Its long-term goal is to realize libertarian socialism, a society without classes and hierarchies, where the means of production are owned commonly and administrated by the workers: in effect, abolition of capitalism, wage slavery, and sexism. As such, SAC is an anti-sexist and anti-militarist organization, which in 1998 also became the first Swedish openly feminist trade union. Short-term goals are improved salaries and working environments. It frequently cooperates with other libertarian socialist organizations, such as the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation (SUF), although SUF is not a part of SAC.

The SAC was founded in 1910 by disgruntled members of the Social Democratic LO trade union central after its failure to carry out a Swedish General Strike, and were joined by large sections of the youth wing of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, who also had come under the influence of the revolutionary syndicalism of the French Confédération Générale du Travail. In 1922 the newly formed union confederation also became founding member organization of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association; however, conflicts erupted between the organizations in the 1950s as SAC set up a state-supported unemployment fund, something which the IWA regarded as state collaboration and reformist. From 1956 and onwards the SAC stopped paying its membership fees to the IWA, effectively letting its affiliation lapse.

The traditional strongholds of the SAC were primarily in the forestry, mining, and construction industries. Today the majority of the union's members are employed in the public sector, often working in sectors like railway and public transports, healthcare, and education, but many of the members can also be found in the restaurant, information technology, and logistics industries.

Decision making

Insignia of SAC

Decisions should, according to SAC, be made by those whom it concerns and not by representatives or leaders. That is why they apply federalism, direct democracy and direct action. Decisions about negotiations, notices, offensive actions and agreements are ultimately made by the members of the operational sections. Decisions about using the battle funds are made by the Local Co-organization (the members thereof, of course). Central notices about offensive action, strikes, and other things exist but they can be annulled locally by local instances. Central vetoes against conflict measures do not exist. Concentration of power is avoided by not letting SAC's employees be eligible for election to positions of confidence or as congress representatives.

Most workplaces are today covered by collective agreements set up by Landsorganisationen, which apply not only to members of LO, but also other employees of the workplace in question. However, only members of LO are bound by LO's part of the agreement, which means that members of SAC - and, of course, other non-LO trade unions - are free to initiate offensive actions even if the current collective wage agreement includes a no strike clause.


SAC workers conference, held in Örebro November 25-November 26, 1917. The conference decided to plan mass action for 8-hour working day in the spring of 1918.

SAC has a double structure, the geographic and the industry-wise. It is influenced by the way CGT was structured at the time of SAC's founding.


The secretariat of SAC is located in the SAC house on Sveavägen 98, Stockholm. The closest subway station is the Rådmansgatan. The purpose of the secretariat is to co-ordinate the internal and external work of the organization. Arbetaren and Federativs are to be found in the same house.

See also


  1. The Principles and Aims of SAC Archived December 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., point 10

External links

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