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Settlement sets the framework for collective bargaining in the rest of the labour market

Chief negotiators call the recently concluded agreement in the industrial sector “unique” and “historic”. Get the main points of the agreement here.

3 min
English / Dansk
DI’s adm. direktør Lars Sandahl Sørensen (tv) og formand for Dansk Metal og CO-Industri Claus Jensen. Foto: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

More pay, longer maternity/paternity leave and a new distribution of pension contributions.

These are the main points of the agreement that chief negotiators from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) and CO-industri, the parties negotiating on behalf of about 230,000 Danish employees, reported Sunday afternoon to the press audience at DI headquarters in Copenhagen.

“It’s historic that we have succeeded in negotiating an agreement that takes into account as much from the central negotiations as it does. And it is only right because the Danish industrial sector is very strong, and our members are hit hard by inflation and rising prices,” states Claus Jensen, president of the Danish Metal Workers’ Union and CO-industri, in a press release.

Claus Jensen in particular points out that the two-year agreement will help to recover the drop in real wages that many employees have experienced lately.

If the members vote in favour of the agreement, it will ensure, among other things, a pay rise of at least 4 per cent distributed between an increased employer-funded pension contribution from 8 to 10 per cent and an increase in the contribution to the free-choice account. The parties have also agreed on increases in minimum pay rates and more weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave.

Fact box: The contents of the agreement

  • The agreement applies for two years, ending on 1 March 2025 provided the members vote in favour of the agreement.
  • The free-choice account increases from 7 to 9 per cent in 2024.
  • As of 1 July 2023, employers will pay two per cent extra, and employees will pay two per cent less in pension contributions.
  • The minimum hourly wage is increased by DKK 9 – DKK 4.50 per year during the term of the agreement.
  • Maternity/paternity leave with full pay is extended by four weeks – distributed between two weeks shared by the parents and two weeks for the other parent.
  • The union representatives are given more powerful tools than they have today, enabling them to reap good results in the local pay negotiations.
  • Going forward, a right for the appointment of a training representative at the workplace is introduced; this person is to assist the union representative’s work with training matters.
  • Going forward, employees will receive full pay for participation in training of their own choice. Previously, the supplement was 85 per cent.
  • The hourly pay for apprentices is raised by 8 per cent over the term of the agreement. Other rates increase as well.

Source: CO-industri and the Confederation of Danish Industry

Historically difficult negotiations

The negotiations in the industrial sector have repeatedly been described as “historically difficult” in times of rising inflation and uncertainty about the future economic development.

While the agreement is important to the many industrial sector employees, it also has the potential of significantly impacting the rest of the labour market. Traditionally, the settlement in the industrial sector sets the framework for the collective agreements to be negotiated in the rest of the Danish labour market.

“It is quite simply a unique achievement in times as difficult as these to have reached an agreement on a responsible breakthrough settlement for the private labour market in Denmark. The large fluctuations in the world around us make it crucial that we have the most stable domestic framework possible. So, above all, the agreement is testimony to a deeply felt social responsibility by both parties,” says Lars Sandahl Sørensen, CEO of the Confederation of Danish Industry.

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