Om fackligt lärande : En etnografisk studie av en fackföreningsstyrelses arbete

Sammanfattning: The prerequisites for local trade unions have changed in later years. Con-temporary changes in working-life raise new and important questions for the local boards to deal with. Changes of labour legislation anddecentralisation within the Swedish trade union movement have led to new tasks and greater responsibilities for the local trade unions. The role of learning in the local trade union-s attempts to deal with contemporary challenges is the focus of this thesis. The presented case-study aims at understanding the conditions and circumstances that shape the kind of learning that takes place in the board of a local branch of a Swedish trade union. The importance of the everyday context for learning is a fundamental approach to the study. Theories stressing the situated character of learning have been used for understand-ing the activities of the shop stewards participating in the social practice of local trade union work. The shop-stewards- attempts to deal with the challenges have been inter-preted as problem-solving. A pattern of three qualitatively different ways of solving problems has been identified. The shop stewards manage well prob-lems concerning the traditional trade union work, i. e. interpreting the legal framework in laws, agreements and instructions. There is no need for change. The second kind of problem-solving is about new problems within an area familiar to the shop-stewards. The shop-stewards also manage to solve this kind of problems. The shop-stewards do not manage the third kind, the new and complex questions where the legal framework is missing, e.g. outsourcing, competence development and bad working conditions as an effect of lean production. This third kind of problems can be seen as questions for destiny to the trade union and its members. Learning in local trade unions is not just a local matter. In order to understand the local trade union board-s difficulties to deal with the con-temporary challenges one must consider the aspects of power and relations to the counterpart, the employer. Decentralisation of trade union-work has changed the prerequisites for the local trade unions. New technique, ways of organising work and globalisation of production and ownership are examples of new and important questions for trade unions to deal with. These changed prerequisites concern the Swedish trade union movement as a whole.