Danish trade unions demand hike in minimum wages

Denmark has no statutory minimum wage. The current minimum salary for a full-time worker in Copenhagen is reportedly around DKK 110 (USD 16.37) per hour

January 13, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Denmark minimum wage strike
Workers’ mobilization called by major Copenhagen trade unions on Wednesday, at the start of the ‘OK20’ industry negotiations for 2020. (Photo: Arbejderen.dk)

Ahead of the ‘OK 2020’ collective bargaining negotiations with the industry, trade unions in Denmark on January 8, Wednesday, mobilized for an increase in the minimum wage. Demonstrations at the Copenhagen City Hall Square on Wednesday saw the participation of hundreds of activists from several professional trade unions in the private and public sectors.

As of now, there is no statutory minimum wage in Denmark. The current minimum salary in Copenhagen for a full-time position holder is reportedly around DKr 110 (USD 16.37) per hour or  DKr 17,000 (USD 2,580) per month.

Trade unions representing 2,30,000 workers are part of the OK20 negotiations to formalize the collective agreement with employers for the year 2020. The discussions, which are expected to be completed by February, will finalize the collective bargaining agreements for the year. 

The call for the mobilization on Wednesday was given by eight major unions, including HK Service Hovedstaden, Danish Electricity Association Copenhagen, Technical Union of Copenhagen (TL), 3F Copenhagen, Danish Railway Association, HK IT, Media & Industry Copenhagen, Painters’ Association Greater Copenhagen and Pipe and the Plumbing’s Union of Copenhagen.

Jimmi Eiberg Jensen, chairman of the Technical Union of Copenhagen (TL), told Arbejderen (The Worker) that the “purpose of the mobilization is to send a clear signal to employers, and to show them that as a trade union movement, we stand together and also want a proper result out of collective bargaining.”

Arbejderen had reported earlier that despite the good performance of the Danish economy and high employment rates, wage increments for workers on the floor have been moderate in recent years and have not kept up with the growth in productivity and development. In contrast, salaries of top executives are growing faster than ever before.