New Agreement in the Danish Manufacturing Sector
After 25 hours of negotiations between the Central Organisation of Industrial Employees in Denmark (CO-industri) and the Danish Confederation of Industry (DI) an agreement for the Danish manufacturing sector was reached on Sunday the 12th of February 2012.
The agreement is valid from 1st of March 2012 until 1st March 2014 and directly covers 240.000 employees and workers in more than 6.000 companies. It consists of one part covering workers paid by the hour and one part covering salaried employees.
The way of negotiating salaries continues. This means that salary increases will be negotiated locally in the individual companies. It is the right and the duty of the shop stewards to initiate a yearly collective bargaining round in their company.
The main elements of the agreement are as follows:
By local agreement in the specific company, senior workers can make individual agreements on reduced working time according to the wishes of him or her. In the agreement, provisions are made, that allow the senior worker to choose to have his or her monthly labour market pension contribution paid out as a supplement to the monthly pay instead of it being paid into the private labour market pension fund. Currently a total supplement of 12% of the monthly wage is paid into a private labour market pension fund. 8% is paid by the employer and 4% is paid by the worker.
Extension of the coverage of the collective agreement
Commercial and clerical employees with a diploma education and profession bachelor degrees are now also included in the collective agreement.
Improvements of the automatic compensation in case of dismissal
An automatic compensation in case of dismissal was introduced in 2010, but practice has shown that low salaried workers in reality received a proportionally low compensation. A minimum and a maximum level have now been introduced. The minimum is now 2.500 DKK (335 EUR) and the maximum is 15.000 DKK (2.013 EUR). The automatic compensation has no influence on the compensation available in case of unlawful dismissal.
Education and training (joint European common demand)
From the collective agreement in 2007 an agreement was made which from 2009 gave the workers access to 2 weeks of education and training each year on top of training and education necessary to carry out his or her current job. Experiences have shown that choosing and applying for education and training under this agreement needs to be made easier, which the two parties will work at doing in the next two years.
It is now also possible to accumulate unspent weeks of training and education from the two previous years making it possible to participate in a maximum of six weeks of training in a given year, for education and training purposes of the individual workers own choosing. Consultants will also be available to visit the individual companies and workers in order to assist them in choosing education and training programmes.
Furthermore it will now be possible to use short-time work periods for education and training purposes and use financial support from the fund established in 2007. This requires agreement among the local partners and a specific approval from the education and training fund.
Atypical and precarious workers (joint European common demand)
Regarding atypical and precarious workers it has been agreed with the employers that the partners aim to reduce social dumping and make sure that workers from abroad are ensured the salary- and working conditions in the collective agreement. Steps will be taken to immediately rectify substandard salary- and working conditions, in order for the worker to immediately benefit from results of conciliation meetings and/or rulings from the labour court.
Regarding sick leave the former rules stipulated that a worker in order to receive pay during sick leave had to have 9 months of employment, this is now reduced to 6 months.
Furthermore the period for retaining seniority when re-entering employment in a specific company is reduced from 6 to 9 months, making it easier especially for temporary agency workers to maintain rights based on seniority.
In the collective agreement from 2010 it was agreed that the partners would implement the revised temporary agency workers directive in the collective agreement when it was finalised. This was done for in August 2011 but excluded salaried employees. An agreement has now been reached in order for the temporary agency workers directive to also be implemented in the collective agreement for the salaried employees.
Salaries for apprentices are increased by 2,25% on 1st March 2012 and by a further 2,25% on 1st march 2013.
A campaign will be established between the partners in order to increase the number of apprentices in the manufacturing sector.