The Crisis Requires Solidarity and Common Sense
The Corona crisis is an extraordinary situation that requires something from all of us to get through it as best we can, in relation to both health and economic impacts. I therefore also assume that common sense will prevail in companies so that we are able to coordinate our everyday life jointly and get through this difficult time, says Kent Petersen, President of Finansforbundet.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has closed down large sections of society and meant that thousands of financial sector employees have been sent home from their workplace to work from home instead, is an extraordinary situation that calls for solidarity.
"We are in the midst of a situation, which not only places immediate demands on the obvious considerations for health, but will, in any event, also have repercussions in terms of finance. A great many industries and companies are already severely affected, and it is clear that this is a spiral, which we must do everything we can to stop and limit the damage of its effects. This will quite simply require a joint effort if we are to get through this sensibly and intact," says Kent Petersen, President of Finansforbundet.
He understands that many financial sector employees have been affected by the crisis, which has transformed their work and everyday life.
"It can be frustrating and everything is made more complicated when you cannot attend work physically and must change your way of working, and not least, of course, when you also have an everyday life that has been transformed in every possible way. I therefore also assume that common sense will prevail in the sector and in companies, so that we are able to coordinate our everyday life jointly during this extraordinary situation," says Kent Petersen.
Last week, Finansforbundet and FA (the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector) negotiated a sector agreement on a framework for how we can address the extraordinary situation we are in as a company and employee. Read more about the joint sector agreement with FA on COVID-19 here.
On Monday, 23 March, Finance Denmark and the government announced that the companies in the sector have also committed themselves to a number of initiatives to ensure, inter alia, sufficient liquidity for otherwise healthy companies and private customers and to reconsider dividend payments and share repurchases that have already been planned in light of the critical economic situation.
"This exemplifies that we have a societal task, in which everyone must contribute immediately in order to mitigate the effects of the crisis as best we can. We also need to do this in the financial sector, as we have a vital social function and therefore an obligation to solve the problem that we ultimately share with everyone" says Kent Petersen.
More digital membership offers
Finansforbundet as an organisation has also been hit by the crisis, which requires a different approach in terms of union management. All physical meetings have been cancelled and membership benefits and offers have also been amended.
"We have already organised a number of digital and virtual alternatives to physical courses and meetings. We are working to further reinforce this entire area in order that we can continue to provide offers for our members, solve the tasks we need to and generally be available for our members as much as possible. Even in a situation that is so significantly different to normal," says the President of Finansforbundet.