Despite these differences in historical developments, Nordic industrial relations are separated by the degree of transfer of collective agreements from national labour law. From the Danish agreement of September (1899), the fundamental aspects of labour law in the Nordic region were generally defined by a collective agreement between trade unions and employers` organisations and not by national parliaments. Can collective agreements in Denmark apply generally to certain sectors? The current situation is that wage negotiations at the national level are virtually stalled in the private sector and that the Swedish Business Association plays no role in wage negotiations. Nevertheless, there are still a number of wage agreements between unions and employers at the national level, such as the 1982 Efficiency and Participation Agreement, and new non-wage agreements continue to be signed. For example, in 2006, a new national pension agreement was concluded for 700,000 non-managerial workers in the private sector, and in September 2012 the Swedish Business Association began negotiations with PTK, the negotiating group between TCO and Saco, on new redundancy schemes. Based on an agreement reached in Denmark in 1899 between employers and workers, the fundamental aspects of labour law in the Nordic region have generally been defined by a collective agreement between trade unions and employers` organisations rather than by national parliaments. The branch collective agreements are signed by the employers` organisation and the union. At the company level, the employer agrees with the local trade union organization. Agreements are legally binding for signatories and their members and their employers who have signed an agreement with a union are required to apply them to all their workers, not just union members. nordics.info University of Aarhus Jens Ch. Skous Vej 5 8000 Aarhus C Denmark Negotiation coverage is high. Established in 2000, the National Intermediation Office (Medlingsinstitutet) indicates that 88% of employees are subject to collective agreements, 83% work in the private sector and 100% in the public sector.1 Trade unions play a greater role in Nordic politics and economy than in most other countries.
This is largely due to their organizational success, which has made them a key player in policy development and collective bargaining. Until recently, most wage agreements have lasted three years, although they have often had the option of terminating a contract one year before its end.