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The Nordic cooperation has three clear goals

The Nordic cooperation has three clear goals

(Jan 20, 2020) The Nordic cooperation will soon be going through major changes. A new vision is to be turned into practical politics within three strategic areas. This special edition of the Nordic Labour Journal looks at what is happening in the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The North Sea Diver – working under pressure

The North Sea Diver – working under pressure

(Jan 13, 2020) There are few stories describing working life in Norway’s offshore oil industry, despite the massive impact the sector has had on the country’s economy. Now a new book details one of most remarkable new occupations that emerged from the industry – the deep sea divers. The author is Swedish Hans Claesson.

The skewed distribution of welfare

(Dec 17, 2019) In Finland, there has been a government crisis. In Sweden, the politicians quarrel over the Public Employment Service and in Norway the scandal where thousands were branded benefit cheats, continues. At the same time, the gap between the poor and the rich is slowly but surely increasing - even in the Faroe Islands where growth has been highest.

Fraud in the welfare state

(Nov 27, 2019) The word fraud has been used a lot in the welfare debate in the Nordics this autumn. In Norway, the “NAV scandal” has been dominating the news. In Denmark, an employee at the National Board of Social Services is in court charged with embezzling more than 100 million Danish kroner, while unemployment statistics for Sweden have been compromised.

A portrait of the richest of the rich in Finland

A portrait of the richest of the rich in Finland

(Nov 27, 2019) Who are the richest one in a thousand in Finland – the euro millionaires? How do they view themselves and other Finns? These issues are being explored in one of the most discussed books this autumn: Huipputuloiset – or something like The Top Earners in English.

The multi-faceted fight against sexual harassment

(Oct 18, 2019) This October it is two years since the American actor Alyssa Milano sent out the first tweet with the hashtag #metoo. That set off a reaction that spread from Twitter to the streets and into the corridors of power. Suddenly sexualised violence and harassment was being discussed in a new way. But what has really changed in these three years?

Eva Nordmark's task: to liberalise Sweden’s employment act and reform the employment service

Eva Nordmark's task: to liberalise Sweden’s employment act and reform the employment service

(Oct 18, 2019) When former TCO President Eva Nordmark accepted to replace Ylva Johansson as Sweden’s Minister for Employment, she also accepted to follow up on proposals she had been critical of in the past, like the liberalisation of the employment act.

ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment - an issue of Decent Work?

(Oct 07, 2019) In an op-ed the Council of Nordic Trade Unions and the leaders of the Baltic Trade Union Confederations urge the eight Nordic and Baltic countries to quickly ratify the latest ILO-convention, often called the Metoo-convention.

The Nordics, the EU and the climate

(Sep 12, 2019) New labour ministers have recently been appointed in three of the Nordic countries. In Finland and Denmark as a result of elections, in Sweden because the government nominated Ylva Johansson to a role as a new EU commissioner.

Timo Harakka’s challenge: to increase employment in Finland

Timo Harakka’s challenge: to increase employment in Finland

(Sep 12, 2019) Much is expected from the new Finnish Minister of Employment Timo Harakka. His background is unusual for a politician. The ministerial post came as a surprise to him too. As an MP he focused on the economy and the environment.

Peter Hummelgaard: aims to secure early retirement for tired workers

Peter Hummelgaard: aims to secure early retirement for tired workers

(Sep 12, 2019) The Danish labour market is facing major changes if Minister for Employment Peter Hummelgaard manages to get support for his plans. He wants to fight for fairer conditions for people with lower levels of education and for those in low-paid jobs.

Wages are not everything – national insurance costs important to posting of workers

(Sep 12, 2019) A Lithuanian construction worker posted to Sweden does have the right to be paid according to the Swedish Byggavtalet – the collective agreement between the Swedish Construction Federation and the Swedish Building Workers' Union – but he or she most often will not be able to keep as much of the money as a locally employed colleague on the same pay. Because the Lithuanian worker must normally pay part of the statutory national insurance contribution in his or her native country.

How to change the world

(Jun 29, 2019) In this edition of the Nordic Labour Journal, we write about the ILO, the Treaty of Versailles and tourism. In a funny way, they are all linked.

Guy Ryder: The multinational system must understand the importance of work issues

Guy Ryder: The multinational system must understand the importance of work issues

(Jun 28, 2019) The ILO has celebrated its centenary. In a jubilant tweet from Geneva, Guy Ryder summed up the 108th session of the International Labour Conference: “We had big ambitions for this Conference, and it was a record breaker in every sense. We emerged with a new Convention, a new Recommendation and a Declaration that will take us forward to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

A more precise view on inclusion

(May 26, 2019) It is hard to generalise about labour market inclusion. Everyone who fails to join or who drops out have their own story. But we are getting more detailed comparisons between the different Nordic countries.

Paula Lehtomäki wants a new Nordic passport union and a clearer Nordic Council of Ministers

Paula Lehtomäki wants a new Nordic passport union and a clearer Nordic Council of Ministers

(May 26, 2019) Nordic citizens should be able to use digital ID and use digital services in neighbouring countries, says the new Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. She wants to continue delivering results that really benefit the region's citizens.

Nordic region leading by example

(Apr 12, 2019) The most important thing the Nordics can do to contribute to the ILO is to lead by example. That was the message from the Director-General Guy Ryder during the fourth and final conference on the Future of Work, held in Reykjavik.

Gender or general equality – what is more important?

(Mar 06, 2019) On the 8th of March, the entire world focuses women’s rights. The NLJ’s gender equality barometer mirrors a small part of the gender balance in the Nordic region; whether there is a man or a woman in 24 positions of power. This year saw a modest increase in the number of women, but the trend is nevertheless clear. Gender equality is on the rise, even though things are moving slowly.

The changing nature of cooperation

(Feb 15, 2019) Nordic labour markets have seen major and at times dramatic changes at the start of 2019. In Sweden 4,500 employment service workers have been made redundant, in Finland sick leave levels are rising and Denmark now has two rather than three trade union confederations.

Gissur Pétursson, Permanent Secretary with thermometer and yardstick

Gissur Pétursson, Permanent Secretary with thermometer and yardstick

(Feb 15, 2019) Gissur Pétursson worked in the Icelandic Directorate of Labour for more than 20 years, but has moved on to become the top civil servant in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Children. The ministry has just changed to focus on four areas; children, housing, social insurance and the labour market.

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