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Video about the prize:

About the award

The prize is an international award established by Industri Energi (today IE&FLT). It is awarded annually by the “Committee for the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights” in accordance with guidelines set in these statutes. The statutes can be amended by the National Board of IE&FLT with a 2/3 majority.

The prize amount is NOK 500,000 (approx. EUR 43.000 / USD 47.000). Half the amount goes directly to the prize winner and an equal amount will be spent on projects related to the prize winner. The money comes from the IE&FLT International Solidarity Fund and can be adjusted by the National Executive Committee in connection with the review of the federation’s budget.

The main purpose is to promote and strengthen trade unions and trade union rights internationally.

Who are eligible for the prize?
The prize is presented to a person or organisation that has worked predominately to promote trade union rights and/or strengthen trade union organizing around the world.

Who can nominate?
The following groups or organisations can nominate candidates for the prize:

  • Representatives and employees of Norwegian trade unions

  • Representatives and employees of trade unions around the world affiliated to confederations that are a part of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) or to the Global Unions

  • Past recipients of the prize

  • Members of the boards of organisations that have received the prize in the past

Prize committee

The committee is broadly composed of seven people from Norwegian trade union movement, appointed by the National Executive Committee of IE&FLT for a four-year period. See who is in the committee.

The National Executive Committee of IE&FLT has the authority to replace members when necessary.

The Secretariat is located at IE&FLT.

Award ceremony
The prize is normally presented at a special event in the middle of June each year.

Who was Arthur Svensson?

The prize is named after Arthur Svensson (1930-2008).

Arthur Svensson was one of the Norwegian trade union movement's most prominent leaders and has left deep traces in Norwegian society by creating better conditions for workers both at home and abroad.


Arthur Svensson became strongly involved in the international arena. Arthur - or "Professor Arthur" as he was called by Fathi Arafat, the brother of Yassir Arafat - therefore became a term that extends far beyond the ranks of the trade union movement.


Arthur Svensson came from poor conditions. He was first organized in the Norwegian Chemical Workers' Union in 1955 as a bolt puller at the aluminum plant at Sunndalsøra. Arthur excelled with clear opinions and firm behavior, and quickly got a number of other positions. He was the president of the Chemical Workers Union (later part of Industri Energi, then IE&FLT) for 17 years and a member of LO's secretariat.

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