It has been over 14 years since I moved to Sweden. 16 Feb 2001 to be more specific. There are parts of me that will never change, that will always stick out as not being Swedish, but I think that I am adapting well.
I was resistant to taking 4 weeks of vacation in the middle of the summer, to fathers taking time off from work to take care of the kids. I have even been one of those guys that did not see the need for unions in Sweden, especially for office workers. But recently I was asked if I wanted to sit on the board for the local union club for our workplace. At first I was like na, it’s not for me. But after an hour or so I started thinking, wait, I have always wanted to negotiate with work, but I have been blocked by the collective negotiating of the unions. So last week I was elected to the board, and Tuesday I took over the role of Vice-chairman and will be one of the two negotiators for employees here at my workplace. I still do not know what I think of the need for a union for my type or work, but already after two 45 min meetings I feel that I am getting into the idea of an organized group looking out for the best of the a larger group.
This will in no way effect the way I vote, feel about taxes, the desire to be better than other, to have more than other or the current government in Sweden, but it definitely will give me a deeper insight to the daily/weekly tasks of the union and how it might actually be a good thing for those that are not as aggressive/assertive as myself.
I am signed up for my union introduction class, I have been invited to the regional year-end meeting, invited to lunch to meet with the other local club members. Good thing my work load has gone down since Christmas.