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News 2019

Danish trade union movement gathers the troops
A joint trade union confederation with all of the country's unions as members? Denmark took a big step in that direction on 1 January.
Severe cuts to the Swedish Public Employment Service
What does the labour market look like for unemployed employment service workers? The question is suddenly relevant for a lot of staff at the Swedish Public Employment Service. 4,500 of them were given their notice on the 30th of January this year.
Lisbeth Dalgaard Svanholm aims to gather big and small employers
While the Danish trade union movement has got a new main organisation, their counterparts, DA, have got a new female leader who aims to bring together some very different member companies.
Iceland invites the ILO to the land of volcanos and glaciers
On the 4th and 5th of April, Iceland hosted the final out of four Nordic conferences ahead of the ILO’s centenary celebrations. The Future of Work conferences represent a very important forum not only for Iceland, but for the entire Nordic region, says Iceland’s Minister for Social Affairs and Children Ásmundur Einar Daðason.
Outgoing Secretary General: keep the Nordic focus
The Nordic region and Nordic cooperation is held in high regard at home and abroad, so keep up the high levels of ambitions. That was the parting message for Nordic parliaments and governments from the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten, as he stepped down after six years today.
A shift in work-related crime – or just prettier facades?
The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has uncovered less work-related crime in 2018, even though more controls have been carried out compared to in previous years. Some point to improved cross-sector cooperation, while critics say inspections are of little use if they are not unannounced.
Nordic project: why do so few girls want to become engineers?
Many future jobs will be centred around digitalisation, the development of artificial intelligence and robots, and biotechnology. But far too few girls chose to study the subjects that are relevant to these areas. The Nordic labour ministers want to know why.
Norway: Gender pay gap remains, but influence is slightly up
The gender pay gap among full-time employees in Norway remains at 20 %. After adjusting for age, education, sector and several other factors, there is still a 13 % gender difference.
New Finnish work environment policy
Psychosocial strain of work will increase as the transformation of work accelerates. We must therefore take a more comprehensive approach to risk assessments. That is the main message from the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s new policy for the work environment until 2030.
A tough tone between EU and national courts
Right now, Nordic labour ministries are busy working with two EU directives. The directive on the posting of workers is being expanded, while a new directive on transparent and predictable working conditions is to be implemented.
Mapping the mental border obstacles between Denmark and Sweden
Preconceptions, experiences, habits and feelings can prevent businesses from working across national borders. Ethnologist Fredrik Nilsson says that besides money, a lot of emotions are being invested in cross-border work.
Nordic trade unions praise #metoo convention
New international standards will protect everybody’s right to a world of work free from violence and harassment. Danish and other Nordic trade unions call it a great leap forward for workers globally and in the Nordic region. Danish employers doubt it will have much effect.
Who killed the Nordic model?
If you read Helge Hvid’s and Eivind Falkum’s book about Work and Wellbeing in the Nordic Countries like a crime story, it becomes exciting. The two editors are trying to establish whether the Nordic model already has died, or is dying. But does the evidence hold?
Why did #metoo hit the Nordics differently?
Two years after the #metoo movement exploded in social media and became a global phenomenon, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir will be hosting an international conference on the issue in Reykjavik from 17 to 19 September.
Oslo Foodora riders on strike
It has become an increasingly common sight in many cities: Foodora’s bike riders home-delivering restaurant food. But right now in Oslo, hundreds of striking riders are cycling around to gather support for their demand for a collective agreement. Other countries are taking note.
What are the critical issues for Nordic trade unions?
What goes on inside the head of a trade union leader? At the NFS congress in Malmö they were challenged to spend one minute to describe what they see as the greatest challenge going forward. Here are some of the answers:
New technology leads to growing polarisation in the labour market
Skilled jobs are on the rise both in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in the OECD, while routine jobs disappear. The challenge now is to help more people to develop their skills and to expand social security support to include those without permanent employment.
Nordic trade unions: climate action must be fair
”There are no jobs on a dead planet” was the most cited slogan at the Nordic trade unions’ congress in Malmö from 3 - 5 September. The climate issue is at the forefront of the trade union movement’s mind too.

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