1996 saw the lowest number of unofficial strikes in the 1990s
Last year, there was a 70% decrease in working days lost due to unofficial strikes in Denmark, according to the latest statistics from the DA employers' confederation.
According to the yearly wage statistics from the Danish Employers' Confederation (DA), 1996 was the most conflict-free year for the private sector labour market in the 1990s. From 1995 to 1996, the number of unofficial strikes - defined as those in contravention of a collective agreement - fell from 1,740 to 791 and the number of working days lost decreased by 70% to 52,808 in 1996. Although there was an overall decrease in working days lost, the proportion of working days lost due to wage disagreements increased from 45% to 52% and conflicts related to redundancies and dismissals increased from 5% to 13%. Between 1995 and 1996 secondary action fell drastically, from 34% to 9% of the total number of working days lost. This can be attributed to the 1995 bus conflict ("RiBus-konflikten"), one of the longest disputes in post-war Danish industrial relations.
When a collective agreement is concluded in Denmark, the social partners are under a peace obligation and are penalised in the Industrial Court for any breach of this obligation, such as unofficial strikes in contravention of a collective agreement. During an unofficial strike, the social partners' organisations do their utmost to bring the strike to an end. They do this by initiating meetings with the parties involved and seek to mediate if possible. Those involved in the unofficial dispute can be compelled to allow other workers to take their place. In cases where no collective agreement exists, secondary action can be undertaken in the same bargaining sector, providing those involved in secondary action are themselves covered by a collective agreement.