Major new services employers' organisation created

Three Danish service sector employers' organisations merged on 1 July 2002 to create Commerce, Transport and Service (HTS). The new body represents some 10,000 companies.

On 1 July 2002, after about 18 months of preparations, three major service sector employers' organisations entered into a formal merger, creating a new umbrella organisation entitled Commerce, Transport and Service (Handel, Transport og Serviceerhvervene, HTS). The founding organisations are the Employers' Federation for Trade, Transport and Service (Arbejdsgiverforeningen for Handel, Transport og Service, ATHS), the Chamber of Commerce (Handelskammeret) and the Association of the Hotel, Restaurant and Leisure Industry in Denmark (Hotel-, Restaurant-, og Turisterhvervets Arbejdsgiverforening, HORESTA). The new organisation has a group-like structure, with employer interests and business interests being handled separately, With more than 10,000 affiliated enterprises and 90 sectoral member organisations, HTS is Denmark's second-largest combined trade and employers' organisation after the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI).

The basic aim of the merger is that HTS should have greater political influence than the three former organisations had individually. Another employers' association, Danish Transport and Logistics (Dansk Transport og Logistik, DTL), had originally taken part in the merger negotiations, but later withdrew (DK0107127F). The largest single employers' organisation in the service sector remains Danish Commerce and Service (Dansk Handel & Service, DHS), which from very start did not wish to participate in the planned merger. DHS represents about 25,000 companies. Even if DHS had been a party to the merger, DI - with its 49.4% share of the total paybill of the companies affiliated to the Danish Employers' Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) - would have continued to have a considerably larger presence in DA than services employers which, even including DHS, do not represent more than 27% of total DA paybill.

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