(Apr 16, 2013)
(Apr 16, 2013) What do you do if your colleague works twice as long at half the pay that you get? There are trades and individuals who gravely exploit cheap labour, and in times of crisis many will accept a lot in order to get a job. What is being done in the Nordic region to make sure labour market rules are being followed? The fight against social dumping is this month’s theme in the Nordic Labour Journal.
(Apr 16, 2013) 335,000 citizens from EU’s new member states moved to the Nordic region between 2004 and 2011. A considerable number of workers and service providers from these countries have also been posted there during the same period of time. Foreign labour has represented a positive contribution to the economic growth, but it has also put pressure of wages and working conditions.
(Apr 16, 2013) On 5 March Norway’s Supreme Court passed judgement in what in Norwegian has become known as ‘verftsaken’, or the shipbuilding case. The judgement has been called the most important win for the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) in recent times. Losing this case could have been as significant for the fight against social dumping as the Laval case in neighbouring Sweden.
(Apr 16, 2013) More fines for foreign companies and labour clauses in public contracts - these are the newest weapons in Denmark’s fight against social dumping. They will have an impact on social dumping but won’t eradicate it, thinks expert.
(Apr 16, 2013) In December 2008 the law for labour immigration into Sweden for people from outside the EU and EEA was changed. The labour market test was abandoned and today individual employers decide whether there is a shortage of labour. Critics say this means many employees no longer are protected by the law.
(Apr 16, 2013) Sweden’s Labour Court and ”lex Laval” comes under severe criticism from the International Labour Organisation, giving the Swedish government plenty of food for thought.
(Dec 14, 2012) When SAS employees were forced to agree to a 47.5 hour week they came closer to the general rule within the EU. Now further EU adjustments await. Brussels is preparing new rules on flight working hours and member states will not be allowed to adopt stricter rules. But according to pilot organisations and air safety authorities the proposals are a threat to air safety.
(Dec 14, 2012) Members of the Finnish Aviation Union have gone through turbulent changes in recent years. Companies have been sold or partly outsourced, some have gone bust and employees have struggled to keep up with all the trade union negotiations.
(Dec 14, 2012)
(Oct 08, 2012) The European Commission’s proposal for how to apply the EU directive on the posting of workers must not limit our powers to control foreign companies! That was the unified message from government officials, authority representatives, the social partners and researchers from all Nordic countries when they met in Oslo to discuss how to deal with what remains of the the so-called internal market package.
(May 22, 2012) Should we have a statutory minimum wage? Absolutely not say Nordic trade unions, and they’re usually backed by employers’ organisations. It’s an attitude people elsewhere in Europe find difficult to understand.
(Apr 15, 2012) An Icelandic woman who lives in Iceland but works for an Oslo-based business experienced the cross border commuter’s nightmare. Despite contributing to Norway’s national insurance fund since 2003, she receives no maternity pay. She doesn’t even know who will pay the hospital bill for when she gave birth to her son. Neither Norway nor Iceland wants to pay.
(Mar 08, 2012) Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir has managed what many thought near impossible. She has cut public spending in the wake of the market crash without negatively impacting Iceland’s social security system.
(Jan 31, 2012) The most important labour-regulating conventions were first introduced in Europe before being exported to countries elsewhere. Yet these same rights are now under threat from European countries looking for more ways to cut costs in the face of the economic crisis, says Trine Lise Sundnes, who represents Nordic workers on the ILO’s governing body.
(Dec 12, 2011) Loa Brynjulfsdottir is the new general secretary at the Council of Nordic Trade Unions, NFS. Her top priority is to further defend the Nordic collective agreement model. It is under pressure from the more regulations-based way in which labour market issues are dealt with within the EU.
(Dec 01, 2011) "This is just the beginning," said union leader Len McCluskey when nearly two million public sector workers joined the UK's largest strike in 30 years. On 30 November schools, hospitals, docks and airports were hit. David Cameron's government called the strike irresponsible and the unions militant, but more than 60 percent of Brits supported the strike. British trade unions believe they're facing a watershed which will bring them new support and power.
(Sep 07, 2011) “Involuntary part-time work is a serious problem both for individuals and for society as a whole. It is the government’s goal to reduce involuntary part-time work and to make sure those who wish can get full-time employment,” says Minister of Labour Hanne Bjurstrøm.
(Apr 07, 2011) From time to time 'The Great Debate" over the role of staffing agencies rolls out in the Nordic countries, despite the fact they provide a only a small percentage of the workforce. What makes this employment model appear to be a challenge to the Nordic model? 0.8 - 1.3 percent of the Nordic region's employable population are temporary workers, compared to the European avearage of 1.7 percent. By the end of this year the EU directive on temporary agency work must be implemented.
(Apr 07, 2011) Are staffing agencies just one step on the road towards an even more flexible labour marked, where those performing services become their own employers? NHO Service, the employers' organisation for Norway's cleaning industry, is sounding the alarm over an increase in cleaning businesses from 2,000 to 6,500 over just a few years.