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Newsletter from the Nordic Labour Journal 1/2015

Theme: The minimum wage — fit for the Nordic region?

The minimum wage — threat or opportunity?

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.

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The Nordics should “stop refusing to discuss a minimum wage”

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 .

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Minimum wage could be on ETUC congress agenda

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.

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Norwegian minimum wage model spreading across trades

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.

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Swedish Transport Union: minimum wage could stop social dumping

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.

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Only far left wants minimum wage in Finland

Finland is one of the Nordic countries which has not had a public debate about a minimum wage. The Left Alliance (VF), which is the party furthest to the left in Finland, is the only political party which has called for a statutory minimum wage. In April’s general elections the party’s manifesto will also include a promised minimum hourly wage of €10 — around €1,600 a month.

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Norway: strike against labour law reform, tough conflicts ahead

Will more short term contracts lead to more jobs for more people? Will it make it easier to access the labour market? Would it create more jobs or just more temporary staff? These questions are at the core of Norwegian workers’ fight against changes to the working environment act.

Denmark: more refugees and immigrants into work

Far too few refugees and immigrants in Denmark are in work, and there is broad agreement something needs to be done about it. Yet there is little support for the Prime Minister’s proposal to get refugees and immigrants to clean up Denmark’s beaches and fix swings in kindergartens.

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"LinkedIn can complement the employment service"

“We must improve matching in the labour market, and the employment service needs help from other players to do this. LinkedIn could play an important role in a well functioning labour market,” says Sweden’s Minister for Employment, Ylva Johansson.

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Technology and cooperation key for sustainable development in the Arctic

The Nordic region needs to speak with one voice and develop joint technology if the northernmost parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden want to achieve sustainable development in the Arctic, according to the report ‘Growth from the North’.

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Minister for Strategic Development Kristina Persson: make the Arctic “green”

So far she has been the least visible minister in the Swedish government. That’s about to change as she is setting up a think tank in the government offices.

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