IF Metall

About IF Metall

The Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) is built on a partnership between the International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR) and the Metal and Industrial workers union, IF Metall.

IF Metall is national Swedish Trade Union organising blue-collar workers within the manufacturing sector. Our membership is approximately 300 000 and we represent about 77% of all blue-collar workers in the sectors where we organise.

A union for communication and cooperation

Metal and Industrial workers union, IF Metall provide expertise and experience in the Swedish Model – specifically in Social dialogue as it is proven method in achieving decent work. The collaboration is also using the unions’ experience in industrial relations with global companies. The collaboration with the three parties (companies, unions and employees) is often used in Workplace Programmes and IF Metall supports the dialogue structure needed. 

Trade unions and companies represent different interests. Unions main role is to represent workers, protect their interest and strive for as good and safe working conditions as possible. Companies role is to provide owners and shareholders return on their investments, but at the end of the day a pre-condition for both parties/stakeholders is that the company is successful and profitable. If not, there will be nothing for workers and their unions to negotiate, no dividends to the owners/shareholders.

Dialogue and cooperation between trade unions and companies/employers is core and essential for us as a trade union. Dialogue and cooperation are the tool for development of a company and their ability to compete on the market and by then give conditions for improvement of working conditions. By self-experienced evidence, we know that dialogue and cooperation is beneficial for workers, for companies and as well for society as a whole! It’s a Win, Win, Win situation!

"Cooperation built on dialogue, mutual respect, inclusiveness, involvement and influence, instead of a relation built on conflict, is much more beneficial for everyone! That’s why IF Metall cooperate with NIR with the aim to contribute to mature industrials relations at workplaces and within companies"

"Companies that collaborate with and actively involve employees and their representatives in the entire company's operations, are in a much better position to handle issues and challenges that are important for the employees and for the company's development. It creates -preconditions for a successful company, secure employment and good working conditions. It’s a Win-Win situation! "

Visit IF Metall's website if you want to know more

The website’s content and navigation is in Swedish, but you can use the translation service at the top of the page to get the content in your preferred language.


This executive summary presents the findings from the study “Workplace Cooperation: Finding Practical Solutions in the Colombian Context,” conducted by the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP). The study evaluates the added value of the Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) dialogue and cooperation model within the Colombian labor market.

Throughout 2022, FIP dedicated efforts to thoroughly understand the SWP model, including its concept, foundations, implementation process, and contributions to the labor market. In 2023, FIP documented the experiences of three companies—SKF Latin Trade, Securitas, and Epiroc—that implemented the SWP model in practice. The study also included face-to-face workshops to gather feedback from various stakeholders including civil society, businesses, government, academia, and international cooperation. The findings suggest that the SWP model has the potential to strengthen labor relations, contribute to decent work, and resolve workplace conflicts in Colombia.

The case studies highlight the importance of collaboration between employers and workers to promote decent work and sustainable development in Colombia. They demonstrate that social dialogue facilitates worker participation in labor decision-making, enhances their representativeness, and promotes cooperation between employers and employees, thus improving labor relations and contributing to the well-being of both employees and companies.

The SWP model is particularly noted for improving workplace relationships and commitment to jointly finding solutions to challenges faced by workers and the company. It empowers workers, enhances leadership, and helps integrate business policies into daily practices, reducing the initial disconnect between management objectives and the day-to-day realities of workers. The study also highlights the model’s capacity to manage conflicts constructively, transforming the perception of conflict as an opportunity for improvement. Structured dialogues deepen understanding of the underlying causes of conflicts, fostering empathy and facilitating effective resolution. This promotes a culture of collaboration and a democratic approach to decision-making, building trust.

Additionally, the model is recognized for enabling workers to make decisions, identify challenges, and propose solutions that impact their well-being, and bridging gender gaps in the workplace. Its inclusive approach adapts to the unique needs and characteristics of each company, promoting a stronger and more diverse organizational culture. It also drives good work performance and productivity by involving workers in problem identification and resolution, as well as in implementing improvements and efficiently identifying ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risks for companies.

The document identifies the SWP model’s added value in empowering direct interaction among labor stakeholders in Colombia, overcoming historical or cultural reservations, and contributing to the development of stronger labor relations and improved workplace environments in the country.

Challenges and opportunities of the model are also discussed. The study points out the importance of addressing value chain risks, particularly in a global context where corporate clients demand decent work processes and due diligence. It emphasizes the need to integrate SMEs into this process and use anchor companies as drivers of social dialogue throughout the value chain. The role of the state in social dialogue and the importance of highlighting the benefits of the model for adoption across various business sectors are discussed.

The opportunities of the model include raising awareness of human rights in the workplace in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP), to strengthen due diligence, manage risks, promote long-term sustainability, and improve organizational culture. The document also underscores the importance of involving workers in change processes, leveraging their insights for continuous improvement of processes, and fostering innovation opportunities. Lastly, it suggests replicating the model in value chains to address work environment risks and gender biases, involving suppliers and contractors, and integrating the model into corporate policies to strengthen existing programs and transform organizational culture towards resource efficiency and effective participation of employers and workers.