11th November 2006
I consider it my civic duty to bring you news of the (according to American media) strange lands of the northern realms.
Today, two of the three major confederations of trade unions - the Confederation of Professionals(FTF) and the Confederation of Trade Unions(LO) - announced that their committees have voted for a fusion between the two umbrella organisations. This means that they'll merge into a single, enormous entity with 1.5 million members, granting them unparalleled negotiation power with employers.
Even the vote itself was impressively in favour - from LO's side, only 11 of their 400 delegates voted against. About 71.4% of FTF's members voted in favour of the fusion, as well.
I must wonder if it's coincidental that this fusion is happening during a time of looming labour strikes. For the past few months, negotiations between unions and employers have been fragile and unstable, and right now everything indicates that we'll likely be seeing a massive strike across the market.
This is something called the OK18 negotiations. The unions have been meeting with their corporate counterparts in an attempt to reach a deal, but with neither party willing to budge on certain areas, they've been forced into a situation where a mediator has been brought in to help settle it. Unfortunately, this has also not appeared to really help the situation. If a deal can't be reached before the 22nd, the unions have declared they will strike, which could shut down everything from certain (non-essential) healthcare institutions to public transport.