Hands off our wages!
STATEMENT. While the Commission tries to take command over national wage developments, NFU battles for the Nordic model. In other words: keep your hands off our wages!
Time and time again, the EU Commission attempts to enforce wage-regulating measures. For example, in April last year, the Commission presented an employment package, including proposals that EU should monitor national wage developments and “establish decent and sustainable wages”.
At first, this might sound like nice music. But listen more carefully and you will hear the lack of Nordic tunes: The Commission wants to regulate wages by law, thus disregarding our system of collective bargaining.
Back then, the Commission’s invitation to further discussions on the topic was declined by the labour market parties. But that didn’t stop them.
In early February this year, the Commission arranged a conference to discuss the topic once more. Nordic trade union confederations seized the opportunity to clarify that EU should not be involved in setting wages, nor interfere in the system of wage setting through voluntary agreements. It is a national competence, and should continue to be.
In our sector, several of the newest draft directives from the EU also include attempts at regulating wages. And every time, we fight back reminding the Commission and the Parliament that they, according to the Treaty of EU, have NO right to regulate wages.
Collective bargaining is the Nordic way, and a concept for success. NFU has contributed in the process to clarify this for the Commission, and we will keep doing that.