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In focus 2011

People with disabilities held back by attitudes in working life
How do you open up the labour market for people with disabilities? While medical and technological advances keep breaking down barriers, attitudes are lagging behind. ”The most important thing is to see the abilities, not the disability, what people can do, not what they cannot do,” said Finland’s Minster of Labour when he met his Nordic colleagues and the social partners recently to discuss what can be done.
Trade unions and a new spirit of the times
Inspired by the Arab spring, protesters have been occupying streets and squares in the USA and in Europe. They have highlighted the big gap between the richest one percent and everybody else, even in Western countries. The Nordic region enjoys long traditions of cooperation on how social and working life should develop. But Nordic trade unions are loosing supporters. This could threaten their legitimacy and shift the balance which the Nordic model is based on. Both politicians and researchers are paying close attention to and give advise on how the unions face the spirit of the time, whether it’s their loss of members or young people who see no point in becoming members.
Boom for Nordic mining industry
An old base industry has come back to life - the mining industry. If you include Greenland all the four largest Nordic countries have experienced a mining industry renaissance. All the projects together will mean thousands of new jobs. Investments in only six of the largest projects run to 57.5 billon Kronor (€6.3bn) Nordic Labour Journal’s figures show. But can the mining industry attract enough workers?
Crises test the strength of the Nordic welfare models
The economic crisis hit Iceland like a hurricane. The political power balance in Finland ended up being radically different after the June election and one month later Norway suffered a terror attack. But the challenges also demonstrate the Nordic welfare society’s strength.
Renewed fight against Nordic border obstacles
Nordic Labour Journal has made a top 10 list of border obstacles which make it harder to lead a family life or to live and work across the Nordic borders. Essi Rentola, heads a Nordic working group trying to solve 39 border obstacles She estimates between a third and half of the proposals need to be solved on an EU level.
Language - the key to working life
Knowing the language and having a job is key to how immigrants can integrate. But what comes first? Many immigrants leave their language course when they find work. Having a job is also no guarantee for successful integration. For many businesses the solution is language lessons in the work place.
The staffing agency trade upsets working life's power balance
Over the past few years an entirely new trade has quickly emerged, providing temporary staff to hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, cleaning companies and to industry. Nordic Labour Journal has met employees and employers to find out how they adapt to this development.
Gender equality in the Nordic region - vision or reality?
Nordic countries a leaders in international gender equality surveys. Is reality as splendid as the vision of gender equality in the Nordic region? Nordic Labour Journal has examined the past 40 years of female representation in governments, trade unions, employers organisations and other symbolically important positions. Are women taking over power?
Portable working hours
One in three Norwegian workers are contacted by work in their spare time once every week or more. Do we slave away until we drop because we have email on our smartphones, our home office comes with us on holiday and you and your job compete to have more friends on Facebook and Twitter? When the time for restitution ends up in a grey zone between work and leisure time, what does that do to us?

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