LO members set out priorities for 1998

A survey of the priorities for 1998 of members of trade unions affiliated to Denmark's LO confederation indicates that they rate improvement of working environment above fighting unemployment, increasing wages and reducing working time.

Between 20 December 1997 and 4 January 1998, the opinion poll institute, Gallup Instituttet conducted a membership survey for the Confederation of Danish Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) on members' priorities for the trade union movement's work in 1998. The ranking of priorities given by the members surveyed was as follows:

  1. working environment;
  2. unemployment;
  3. vocational training opportunities;
  4. pension schemes;
  5. jobs on special terms for those with a reduced capacity to work;
  6. wage increases;
  7. a better interplay between working and family life;
  8. the quality of job content;
  9. equalising wage differences;
  10. the integration of refugees and immigrants;
  11. the reduction of working time; and
  12. the publication of newspapers.

Two out of three LO members rate improvement of the working environment over fighting unemployment, though when LO conducted a membership survey in 1992, members rated fighting unemployment over the working environment. The changed priorities can be explained by the fall in unemployment between 1992 and 1997-8.

It is equally interesting that the traditional task of the trade union movement- to improve wages - is rated merely as the sixth most important issue, with only 29% of those surveyed viewing wage increases as the most important issue.

In apparent contrast with workers in Germany, France and Italy, LO members do not consider a reduction of working time an important issue. In Denmark the average weekly working time is 37 hours, with possibilities of sectoral variations in terms of planning working hours.

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