Collective agreements are signed for certain periods, usually between two and four years. A collective agreement is binding both for the employers` organisation and its members, on the one hand, and for the trade union and its members, on the other. In addition, in practice, if not theoretically, a collective agreement binds non-unionized and unionized workers belonging to unions other than the union that is part of the agreement, provided that (i) the worker works with tasks covered by the contract and (ii) the union to which the worker belongs, he is not bound by another collective agreement with the employer. Some collective agreements deal with the general relationship between an employer or employers` organisation and trade unions. These agreements generally regulate issues such as participation, negotiated procedures and the definition of common objectives with regard to the future development of the labour market and employers. As a rule, agreements with the above-mentioned topics are concluded between the federal employers` organizations and their national central counterparts. The Swedish Confederation of Industrial Employers is bound by thirteen collective agreements. Seven of them are workers` contracts. The workers` union Industrifacket Metall is a counterpart in five agreements, Pappers (the Swedish union of paper workers), GS (the Swedish Union of Forestry, Wood and Graphics Workers) in one and SEKO (The Union of Service and Communication Employees) in two.
The Swedish Confederation of Industrial Employers is also bound by four collective agreements for employees. .