Workers in Denmark protest restaurant chain’s disregard of collective agreement

Danish steakhouse chain Jensens Bøfhus has unilaterally cancelled its collective agreement with the workers, intending to cut at least 20 krones (USD 3.17) from the hourly pay of its unit employees

October 27, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Workers Protest-Denmark
Protest called by the United Federation of Workers in Denmark (3F) union’s Private Service, Hotel and Restaurant (PSHR) wing on October 22, Thursday. (Photo: via Arbejderen)

On October 22, Thursday, workers of Danish steakhouse chain Jensens Bøfhus protested in front of the labor court at Sankt Annæ Plads in Copenhagen against the company’s unilateral cancellation of the collective agreement signed earlier with the trade union, United Federation of Workers in Denmark (3F). 3F called for protests on Thursday while the court was hearing a case against Jensens Bøfhus for violating the conflict rules.

Arbejderen (The Worker) reported that around 80 workers protested in front of the court, which stated that a decision on the case will be taken next month. In 2019, Jensens Bøfhus decided to withdraw from it’s agreement with 3F. To accomplish this, the company even resigned from the trade association and employers’ organization for the restaurant, hotel, and tourism industry, Horesta, on July 1, 2019. 3F’s negotiation with the steakhouse for a new agreement also did not succeed as the company management insisted on a cut of at least 20 krones (USD 3.17) from the hourly pay of its unit employees. On March 23, Jensens Bøfhus went for a two-week lockout.

While addressing the demonstration on Thursday, 3F’s Tina Møller Madsen said, “this demonstration is about the conditions for all young people in the restaurant industry. Jensens Bøfhus has become a symbol of the way the whole industry treats young people. Here we have Denmark’s largest restaurant chain owned by some of Denmark’s richest men, who in the middle of the corona crisis reduce the wages of their young servants by 20 kroner per hour.”

“Between 80,000 and 100,000 young people work in this industry. They need to be treated properly. We have to draw a line in the sand now. I hope that 3F’s broad shoulders can help lift the industry and ensure that Jensens Bøfhus gets a collective agreement again. It may take several years, but we do not give up,” she added.

Following the lockout in March, workers of Jensens Bøfhus went for strikes in April under the leadership of the 3F’s Private Service, Hotel and Restaurant (PSHR) wing. After a four-month break due to COVID-19, workers resumed the protest from September.

× To Subscribe