Europe and the Nordic Collective-Bargaining Model

The Complex Interaction between Nordic and European Labour Law

image of Europe and the Nordic Collective-Bargaining Model

One of the special features of the Nordic countries is that the determination of wages and working conditions is largely left up to the negotiations between the social partners. The purpose of this report is to illuminate a number of the challenges faced by the labour-law systems of the Nordic countries in the light of an increasingly well-developed European law system.The first part of the report was prepared by Dr. Jur. Jens Kristiansen, the editor-in-chief, and focuses on a number of the general challenges facing the labour-law systems of the Nordic countries in the form of European rules and court decisions.The second part of the report was prepared by various representatives of employer and employee organisations in the Nordic countries and illustrates some of the challenges faced by the social partners in their interaction with the European court system and the way in which these challenges have been addressed in the individual countries.

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Collective Bargaining, Freedom of Association and the Impact of the EEA Agreement on Icelandic Labour Law

Collective agreements concluded between trade unions and their federations and employers, i.e. the social partners, have had a decisive impact on the development of the Icelandic labour market since 1938, when the Act on Trade Unions and Industrial Dispute came into force. The Act, which is still in force, concerns trade unions, their competence, collective bargaining, industrial action and the Labour Court, and is primarily based on the Nordic model. A basic agreement has never been concluded, however. Trade unions are a legal contracting party in collective bargaining regarding the establishment of members’ minimum wages and working conditions. Individual trade-union members are at the same time bound by the trade union’s statutes and agreements. Moreover, only the trade unions have the right to take industrial action according to the Act. As regards public sector workers, there is special legislation for their collective agreements, which largely corresponds with the 1938 Act.

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