Watch the recorded panel discussions about Partnership Driven Workplaces at EXPO 2020

Good workplace conditions and partnership building is one of the best investments a company can do to be sustainable, innovative and competitive and the Swedish labour market model could be an inspiring method. 

The Swedish Workplace Programme invited business leaders and union representatives to EXPO 2020 to discuss – if the Swedish labour market model can be adapted in different contexts globally. The panelists shared how they apply the model as an approach to contribute to sustainable business and green transition.

They all agreed that the core of the model can be adapted in different contexts and contribute to sustainability. The companies are leading the green transformation by developing new technologies and finding climate neutral ways to produce their products. This  will have an impact on both companies and employees. It will demand cooperation in the workplace to continue to be innovative and prepared for a shift. The panelists emphasized that the investment in time from the leadership to find common ways to meet challenges that arise is crucial for developing companies and employees for a sustainable future. Please, watch the recorded discussion to find out more.

How to implement 

In the second panel, the SWP team shared challenges and successes of using the partnership-driven workplace strategy in a practical way in different contexts to promote decent work and sustainability.

Examples were shared on how to inspire and support companies in different parts of the world to strengthen relations in the workplace.  Improvements have been taken place both at management level and for the employees. Please, watch the recorded discussion to find out more. (1:02:15)

Panel discussion 1 with Johan Järveklo, International Secretary, IF Metall, Martin Lundstedt, CEO and President of Volvo Group, Anna-Karin Rosén, Managing Director Saab Ltd Abu Dhabi and Maya Moukbel, Head of Innovation Ericsson Middle East and Africa. Moderator Kaveh Hagi in the middle.
Panel discussion 2 with the SWP team , Alessandra Cornale Global Programme Director, Patricia Ponce National Programme Coordinator in Colombia, Maria Castilla Regional Programme Coordinator in Colombia and Evalena Persson Programme Director for Vietnam. Moderator Kaveh Hagi in the middle.

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lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers