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Swedish port conflict could lead to change in legislation

(Jun 21, 2017) A long-running conflict in the port of Gothenburg has made the Swedish government consider changes in regulations covering industrial action. The reason the conflict has lasted for so long is a seemingly unsolvable fight for positions between two trade unions which both represent dockworkers.

Editorial: A platform economy, on what terms?

(May 26, 2017) Is the digital platform economy a threat to the Nordic model? Which strategies are needed in order to influence the development? Is a separate Nordic platform economy possible? The Nordic Labour Journal shines a light on the future of work.

The platform economy: How to regulate working life when algorithms are the boss?

The platform economy: How to regulate working life when algorithms are the boss?

(May 26, 2017) Regulation is a key word when the Nordic countries discuss the platform economy. The challenge is to secure good working conditions for the individual, a level playing field for businesses and tax revenues for the state. New technology is good, but the platforms must be developed in line with the labour market as a whole.

Three sharing economy companies show one size doesn't fit all

Three sharing economy companies show one size doesn't fit all

(May 26, 2017) Uber and Airbnb have taken most of the limelight, but new platform companies are being developed all the time. Finn.no, Cool Company and Ework Group are three examples of Nordic companies using digital platforms to link customers with various types of services.

A Nordic model for fair platform economies

A Nordic model for fair platform economies

(May 23, 2017) He has a vision for Nordic cooperation between the social partners in order to make labour market agreements part of the digital platforms which organise and allocate work. “We want to create a distinctly Nordic variation of the platform economy and make it easier for employers to be good employers,” says Fredrik Söderqvist from the Unionen trade union.

The sharing economy and its effect on the labour market

The sharing economy and its effect on the labour market

(May 22, 2017) How large is the sharing economy in the Nordic region really? And how should it be defined? One thing about the sharing economy most agree on is that it can be defined in different ways depending on whether you belive working conditions, flexibility. or technology is the most important thing.

From poverty to dream holiday in Bali thanks to Airbnb

From poverty to dream holiday in Bali thanks to Airbnb

(May 22, 2017) The sharing economy is thriving in Iceland. It has not had major consequences for the country’s labour market, and the development has happened on its own terms – driven by tourism. Icelanders share their houses and cars with tourists. Iceland’s tax authorities are now going to work together with Airbnb.

Lex Laval revised in Sweden – to what effect?

(Mar 01, 2017) Swedish trade unions will again be able to take industrial action in order to get foreign companies to sign collective agreements for their posted workers. That is what the Swedish government proposes, arguing the limitations introduced through the so-called lex Laval go too far. In practice the difference might not be quite as dramatic as it might seem.

Nordic countries positive to EU social pillar – but want to set wages themselves

(Dec 13, 2016) We urge that the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights takes into account the special features of our labour markets and respects the role played by the social partners in the Nordic Region. That is what the Nordic countries’ labour ministers write in a joint declaration to the European Commission.

Towards a more authoritarian labour market – without freedom of expression?

Towards a more authoritarian labour market – without freedom of expression?

(Nov 16, 2016) “This is not only about their working life. It is about their lives,” says Dag Yngve Dahle, who has written a book on the freedom of expression in working life together with Maria Amelie, called ‘Moderne munnkurv’, or Modern muzzle. They look at what happens to people who have been accused of a breach of loyalty to their employer.

New Swedish legislation protects whistleblowers

(Nov 16, 2016) A new law will be introduced in Sweden this January to improve the protection of whistleblowers, strengthening the employees’ situation. However, they will still be left with much responsibility when it comes to deciding which wrongdoings are serious enough to afford them protection.

Collective decision making important, but...

Collective decision making important, but...

(Nov 16, 2016) “All this research on collective decision making is important, but it has its limitations. I think far too much has been exaggerated. There is an extremely good relationship between the workers’ representatives and the company leadership,” exclaims Knut E. Sunde, director of industrial policy at the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

The posting of workers directive: EU Commission sticks to its guns

(Nov 16, 2016) Should posted workers have the right to the same wages as workers in the country to which they are posted? Yes, says the European Commission, sticking to its proposal for changes to the posting of workers directive, despite fierce resistance from Eastern European member states.

EU pressure to liberalise the road transport industry

(Sep 16, 2016) Both Denmark and Finland will have to face the EU Court of Justice if they fail to change rules which they have implemented to prevent social dumping through the abuse of the EU’s so-called cabotage rules, says the European Commission. It is stepping up its work to liberalise the market for road freight transport.

The core idea of labour law is under threat

(Jun 20, 2016) The core idea of labour law is to protect the weaker party in an employment relation. This is increasingly under attack from market-led thinking where the main aim is to create opportunities for everyone to get a job. This might sound good, but it could lead to a worsening of conditions for both those who have managed to get a foot in the door of the regulated labour market and for those who are knocking, waiting to get in.

Can the Nordic model survive the sharing economy?

(Jun 20, 2016) The sharing economy, where customers use the Internet to find providers of different services without using physical middlemen, is also a threat to the Nordic model which builds on collective agreements. Employers and employees are forming non-contract relationships within a growing number of trades. If there is a contract, it mostly states that the partners cannot be considered to be employer or employee.

Three Swedish initiatives for increased gender equality

(Mar 04, 2016) It calls itself ‘the world’s first feminist government’, and with three new initiatives the Swedish government shows it is living up to the name: A more equal occupational injury insurance system, a review of parental benefits to ensure it creates a more equal situation for both parents and finally there will be a strengthening of the discrimination act.

I am incredibly thankful for part time work!

I am incredibly thankful for part time work!

(Mar 03, 2016) 35 year old Cecilie Enevold has gone part time in order to spend more time with her two small children. That was a difficult but correct decision, she says.

Danish parents want Swedish part time conditions

Danish parents want Swedish part time conditions

(Mar 03, 2016) The Danish gender equality debate is on fire. A large majority of Danes think parents of small children should have a right to work part time, but the trade unions, the government and feminists disagree.

Labour dispute at Icelandic smelter – a threat to the country’s agreement model?

Labour dispute at Icelandic smelter – a threat to the country’s agreement model?

(Feb 08, 2016) A bitter labour dispute between trade unions and employers at Rio Tinto Alcan’s Icelandic smelter Isal is in its second year. Workers have twice threatened to go on strike, but have pulled back at the last minute because of fears the smelter would be shut down. Six trade unions are negotiating, but most of the 500 employees at the smelter in Straumsvík belong to the Hlíf union.

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