A collective agreement in the fintech area is an important step towards the future
It took vision, investment and long strategic manoeuvring to finalise the collective agreement that the union entered into with Arbejdsgiverforeningen for fintech. According to president Kent Petersen, the agreement is one of Finansforbundet’s (Financial Services Union Denmark) most important achievements for many years.
Together we can generate the best results. Therefore, future prospects are good following the collective agreement that Finansforbundet entered into in April with the new Arbejdsgiverforeningen for fintech. This is a new area, and in many ways, it is still trying to find its footing, but I believe that it is one of the most important agreements we have signed for very many years.
Fintech is still new territory. Not just for us – but also for the established finance sector, for the Danish entrepreneurial environment and of course for the trade union movement and union organisation.
We therefore also underwent long strategic manoeuvring before getting to this point. And prior to this, healthy, democratic considerations and discussions in the process that led the union to be part of the establishment of the organisation called Copenhagen Fintech, more than five years ago.
However, with this agreement, I think we are seeing yet another indication that we made the right decision in having the courage and vision to cooperate: By helping to build bridges between the new start-ups and the established finance sector. By actually renting out premises to fintech entrepreneurs – and by working strategically in a now very strong and broad group of partners at Copenhagen Fintech to strengthen an area that, in just a few years, has become a Danish strength and created jobs in Denmark based on new technology.
Organising fintech is challenging
First and foremost, it is the opportunity to create new jobs that is the key critical factor for us.
As a union, we were also aware of the challenges when it came to organising fintech. It is actually rare that new collective agreements are established in new industries in Denmark, and this sort of thing does not come easy. Traditionally, new collective agreements are created when organised employees exert pressure from the inside. This has not been the case here, with an industry that is extremely international and characterised by employees that have an alternative and looser connection to their companies.
Therefore, we had to do things in a somewhat reversed order: We involved ourselves in an area where there are still relatively few members of Finansforbundet, but where we could see potential. And where we now have both a new employers’ association and a new framework agreement.
We now have a reasonable agreement, which shares common elements with the standard collective agreement, but which is also adapted to the start-up phase that the industry is generally still in. It makes sense to start with this model because we can see that more and more start-up companies within fintech are maturing and developing slowly as they are growing. From a more long-term perspective, we will therefore also end up working with the continued development of the framework agreement once the companies enter new phases with new requirements for entering into agreements.
We have a long way to go since we are still at the very beginning. However: With this agreement, we have taken an important step in the future development and establishment of fintech as an industry in Denmark and as part of our community. We have every reason to be proud of that.