Labor Platforms with Unions: Discussing the Law and Economics of a Swedish collective bargaining framework used to regulate gig work

Developments of online labor platforms has lead to discussions over appropriate regulatory measures in a number of countries. The labor platform debate tangents a broader discussion over reduced labor market resilience in OECD-countries, where decreased trade union density and collective bargaining coverage provides one explanation for such developments. In Sweden, where union density and collective bargaining coverage is still high, we have observed labor platform firms voluntarily signing sectoral collective bargaining agreements without prior industrial action. Here, we conduct a law and economics analysis of the temporary work agency collective bargaining agreements, using input from interviews with signatory platform firms, and insights from their institutional setting. We discuss future developments and opportunities to regulate labor platforms through collective bargaining, better reflecting regulatory preferences, as described by Calabresi. We argue that algorithmic management practices have potential to increase regulatory compliance, subject to well-functioning co-determination institutions.


  • Research publication
  • Sweden
  • Yes
  • representation, industrial relations, social dialogue
  • Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Employer organisation)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2019
  • Open access
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