Trade Unions and Basic Income: Some Danish Experiences

Erik Christensen: “Trade Unions and Basic Income: Some Danish Experiences”, Society Register 2021 (polsk tidsskrift).

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ABSTRACT: Theoretically, there are many good arguments that unions should support
a proposal on basic income. The main reason for the Danish trade unions resistance to
basic income reform is that it would go against the short-term interest of the unions
in organisational self-maintenance. Trade unions will lose power in relation to their
members with a basic income. Trade unions have control over individual members
by virtue of the collective agreement system and the labour law system. If you have a
basic income system, the individual worker will decide when he or she wants to leave
his workplace and strike. Suppose a single worker or a group of workers leave their
workplace because of dissatisfaction with the working condition. In that case, they
will be punished financially according to the rules of labour law rely on any support
from their trade union.
KEYWORDS: basic income, trade unions, Denmark, political struggles, labour market