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Working behind the scenes saves jobs

Through the Consultative Committees, Finansforbundet in Nordea is involved in the bank's plans for organizational changes and redundancies and have the opportunity to influence them through dialogue

19. Nov 2020
2 min
Af Carsten Jørgensen
cjo@finansforbundet.dk

What can the union actually do when the management announces that x number of employees must be laid off due to a cost reduction? Or when management announces that x tasks in a business area are to be moved from one country to another?

Formally no decision power but …

Formally, Finansforbundet in Nordea and the Nordea unions in the other countries cannot change the decision. It is management that has the right to lead and decide what it wants. But in reality, Finansforbundet in Nordea and the sister unions can influence the decisions and get the management to change the focus they had in the first place.

“In Denmark, it is stated in the collective standard agreement, that we must be involved in discussions about redundancies in the Works Council (SU). And in Nordea we have a Nordic agreement, where organizational changes etc. must be dealt with in the six CC’s (Consultative Committees) – one for each business area ", says Ole Lund Jensen, who for a number of years has represented Finansforbundet in Nordea in Works Council and in the CC related to Personal Banking and Business Banking.

Invisible to members

Many of the discussions in the SU or CCs are invisible to the members, and it is impossible to measure exactly what the union gets out of it.

“If an announced dismissal of 10 employees is changed to only 5 employees being fired, we cannot document that it is due to our objections. But we can ask questions to the management's proposal and come up with arguments that make the management revise their original plan. Our most important weapon is to challenge management on business risks”, Ole Lund Jensen adds.

Regardless, he is completely convinced that it has an effect.

"The mere fact that we are involved in the process and must be consulted before, for example, layoffs, means that the managers have to make some considerations concerning their plan and its execution because they know that we will ask questions about it. In general, I think there is responsiveness to what we bring.”