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Conflict over part time labour stops Swedish trains

(Jun 17, 2014) A train strike in southern Sweden has put renewed focus on how competition for public contracts affects the rights of the contractors’ employees, and to which extent the procuring authority can interfere in their working and employment conditions.

Agreement on main contractor liability stopped strike

(Apr 04, 2014) A bit of history was written in the evening of 31 March when a new collective agreement was reached on main contractor liability within the Swedish construction industry. It prevented strike action with hours to spare and will see the employers’ organisation the Swedish Construction Federation (BI) establishing a fund to guarantee wages for subcontractors’ workers.

Sweden’s transport sector considers universally applicable collective agreements

(Dec 11, 2013) The Swedish model is no longer strong enough. The transport sector is so troubled by unfair competition that we must consider introducing universally applicable collective agreements.

The Efta court clashes with Norway’s Supreme Court

(Nov 07, 2013) Norway’s Supreme Court was wrong to rule that companies posting workers to the Norwegian shipbuilding industry must pay their travel, board and lodging expenses, argues the Efta Court’s President in a general attack on the Supreme Court. He accuses it of being disloyal to the EEA agreement and indicates the last word may still not been had.

EU standardisation of services worries trade unions

(Jun 19, 2013) Common EU standards are aiming to speed up cross-border trade in services. Just as long as this doesn’t mean introducing EU rules through the backdoor which would be in breach with member states’ labour law and collective agreements, say trade unions – whose concern is shared by the Swedish government.

Nordic countries: conflicting views on social dumping

Nordic countries: conflicting views on social dumping

(Apr 16, 2013) The Nordic countries have chosen different strategies for how to fight social dumping. In Norway a Supreme Court judgement on working conditions in the shipbuilding industry has strengthened the trade unions’ roll. The Danish and Swedish governments are increasing workplaces controls.Will emigration from the Baltics in the long run undermine the Baltic countries?

Editorial: Bad working conditions under pressure

(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.

Nordic region increases fight against social dumping

(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.

Norway has its Laval judgement - but this time the union won

Norway has its Laval judgement - but this time the union won

(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.

Denmark increases fight against social dumping

(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.

Sweden: “More social dumping” after easing of labour immigration laws

(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.

ILO critical of Sweden’s handling of the Laval case

(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.

Pan-European protests as EU introduces new working hours for pilots

(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.

The Finish Aviation Union grows while moving away from Finnair

The Finish Aviation Union grows while moving away from Finnair

(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.

Globalisation of airlines - a walkout for safety?

Globalisation of airlines - a walkout for safety?

(Dec 14, 2012) To see how globalisation can squeeze work conditions, just look at the aviation industry. Everybody wants to fly safely, but both customers and authorities seem tempted by cheap airline tickets. The result is trade unions on their knees while pilots and other airline staff must work longer hours. But is the situation as bleak as some say? Is the Nordic model under threat?

Nordic worry over EU internal market package

(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.

Nordic opposition to minimum wage shows lack of solidarity?

(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.

Home address stops Valgerður’s  maternity pay

Home address stops Valgerður’s maternity pay

(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.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir: The gender pay gap is now the most important equality issue

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir: The gender pay gap is now the most important equality issue

(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.

The Commission wants to exclude small businesses from working environment rules

(Feb 10, 2012) In the Nordic countries small businesses must follow the same working environment rules as big businesses. Now the EU Commission wants to ease the regulations for smaller businesses.

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