Articles on the Social Partners.
There was no overall change in the distribution for Nordic women in the past year. But the Nordic Labour Journal’s gender equality barometer shows that there has been a further polarisation between the countries. On 8 March each year we look at 24 different powerful jobs to see whether they are filled by a man or a woman. 200 points are distributed, and 100 points to women means full equality. This year they got 64.
The ILO’s Deborah Greenfield: In dialogue with the Nordics on gender equality and the future of work
Deborah Greenfield was part of the transitional administration from Bush to Obama, she served as Deputy Solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labour, she was a legal expert for the USA’s largest trade union AFL-CIO. Now, as the Deputy Director General, she is about to take the ILO into a new era. Meeting Nordic labour ministers, Deborah Greenfield is impressed with the discussion.
The EU Commission’s Vice-President, responsible for jobs, growth, investments and competitiveness, is attacking populism, praises the circular economy and defends the EU Pillar of Social Rights in an interview with the Nordic Labour Journal.
People’s perceived level of influence over their own work situation has plummeted in Norway. In seven years the number of people saying they have a lot of influence has fallen from 89 percent to 77 percent. Imported leadership models get the blame.
This is the book which has created an uproar among Finnish trade unions. The former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari distances himself from both the trade union movement and his former political party SDP (the Social Democratic Party). Who would vote for them? he asks. Because they are ruining the welfare state…
Since June this year, Finland’s largest trade union SAK has been run by Jarkko Eloranta. In this portrait interview with the Nordic Labour Journal he attacks the government’s labour market politics for its aim of making Finnish labour cheaper.
Carola Lemne is first among equals at The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and spokeswoman for 60,000 small and large companies. Her recipe for better inclusion of newly arrived people into work is cutting costs for employers. Lower pay and lower tax leave both employers and employees better off.
In 2016 the Swedish wage setting model is being put to its biggest test for several decades. Agreements must be made for some three million employees, but the members of the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) are split, and different demands from different unions and trades risk breaking a nearly 20 year old tradition where the industry has set the norm for wage increases.
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.
Today nearly three times as many Swedes are negative towards undeclared work compared to six years ago. One explanation to this change in attitudes are the household tax breaks introduced in 2007 and 2008. Now the government is reducing the size of the deduction and critics warn against an increase in undeclared labour.
The Danish government wants to ban the hunting for undeclared work in private gardens. The social partners and the opposition fear this will lead to more social dumping.
Adjustments and unity will be needed to maintain the unique Nordic collective-bargaining model. That was the assessment from Denmark’s Minister for Employment, Danish EU politicians and the social partners at a conference in the wake of a new report about the Nordic collective-bargaining model and the EU.
A few years ago Jari Lindström was an unemployed paper mill worker in an industrial town with no future. Today he is Minister of Justice and Employment in the Finnish government planning considerable benefit cuts. Lindström has been forced to defend decisions he was fighting against not long ago.
The courts have acquired a greater role in the labour law system at the expense of politicians and the social partners. And knowing what the law actually means is becoming so difficult for employers and trade unions that the rule of law is under threat, argue the authors of a new book from the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Iceland is already dealing with several strikes and more trade unions are threatening industrial action. There will be a general strike in June if the parties fail to reach a collective agreement. The strikes have already become the largest labour market conflict in Iceland in 25 years.
Stop worrying and join the debate about a legally binding minimum wage across the EU. That’s the bombshell from Bente Sorgenfrey, the new President for the Council of Nordic Trade Unions, NFS. Is fear for the debate the real problem, or is a statutory minimum wage a real threat to the Nordic model? The Nordic Labour Journal kicks off the debate in this month’s theme.
Nordic countries should stop thinking a legally binding minimum wage for the EU would be tantamount to saying goodbye to the Nordic model. Learn from Norway, says the Council of Nordic Trade Unions and Danish labour market experts .
Nearly all European countries have now introduced a statutory minimum wage. At the end of 2014 Germany introduced a minimum wage of €8.50 an hour. But the Nordic countries are sticking to their agreement model.
On 1 February parts of the collective agreement covering the Norwegian fishery industry were made universally applicable, meaning agreed wages now apply to the whole of the country. Two days later it was time for the agreement for electricians. Support for the Norwegian minimum wage model is growing.
There is strong opposition to a statutory minimum wage in Sweden. But the parties in the transport trade have started talking about making collective agreements universally applicable. The reason: pay cuts and social dumping resulting from the freedom of movement.