If they support the European social agenda, and if the draft European minimum wage directive is supported, the social partners in Denmark and Sweden will threaten the EU with legal actions.
On May 19, Torbjörn Johansson, who was in charge of collective agreements at the Swedish trade union center LO, had not yet talked about “Sweden Brexit”.In an interview with the newspaper jobs, He believes that Swedish unions must “Begin to doubt whether joining the EU is a good decision”The focus of controversy: the draft European minimum wage directive.
In Sweden, just like in Denmark, unions and employers do not want to do this. They have won the support of the entire political class, unanimously opposed to the minimum wage prescribed by law. “Of course, we support social Europe, and we believe that the agenda has good intentions in this regard. But the only way for us to accept this directive is to let us be completely excluded.”, Summarized Therese Guovelin, Vice President of LO.
For months, social partners in Denmark and Sweden have been opposing actions that they consider to be a threat to the Scandinavian economic and social model. In both countries, the law does not register a minimum income: wage levels are regulated within the framework of collective agreements, negotiated by social partners, and there is no political interference. In Sweden and Denmark, these agreements cover 90% and 80% of jobs, respectively.
According to Therese Guovelin, the legal minimum wage has serious consequences: “This will inevitably weaken our equal negotiation model. We risk seeing more and more state intervention. According to the directive, the state must monitor its implementation and report to Brussels.” Even though the particularity of the Scandinavian model has been recognized by the European Commission, “Nothing guarantees that action in the European Court of Justice will enforce its decision”.
In Sweden, social partners have painful memories of the Laval incident. On November 18, 2007, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Swedish trade union blocked a construction site in order to force Latvian entrepreneurs to sign a collective bargaining agreement, which was illegal under European rules on freedom of providing services to workers. “We can’t risk finding ourselves in the same situation”, Pointed out by Gabriella Sebardt, Social Affairs Director of the Swedish Federation of Industry.