The Danish trade union 3F

3F is a Danish trade union that aims to secure better wage and working conditions for its members. In April 2018, 3F and Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. Meanwhile, 3F has been active in protecting food delivery riders in Denmark. 3F has continuously supported the Wolt Workers Group (WWG) to protect Wolt riders. In February 2021, 3F and the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) reached a nationwide collective agreement for food delivery riders in Denmark. 

In April 2018, the Danish trade union 3F and platform for cleaning services Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. The agreement entered into force on 1 August 2018 and covers the so-called ‘Super Hilfrs’ (employee status). If a new worker on the platform does not choose to become a Super Hilfr when signing up in the platform, he or she will automatically become a Super Hilfr after 100 hours of work on the platform (unless he or she objects to it). Workers are paid at least DKR 141.2 per hour (€19) and an additional DKR 20 (€2.70) as ‘welfare supplement’. The latter must be set aside by the worker for sickness, retirement, holidays and similar. Furthermore, the agreement specifies there will be an information exchange between the platform and tax authorities.

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An assessment of the agreement of early 2020 finds a high level of work satisfaction among Super Hilfrs, including earnings and the security provided by the agreement. From the platform’s perspective, the agreement has improved its visibility and branding as a socially responsible actor.

Meanwhile, 3F has been actively working with the Wolt Workers Group (WWG), a Copenhagen-based worker organisation, to protect food delivery platform riders in Denmark. Together with WWG, they have successfully negotiated with Wolt to introduce a pay rise and offer riders accident insurance from 2020, and supported Wolt couriers’ protest against Wolt’s recent change in the payment model which lowered the minimum pay for short deliveries and cancelled the weekend delivery bonus. Detailed information of the Wolt Workers Group can be found here.

In February 2021, 3F and the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) reached a nationwide collective agreement for food delivery riders valid from 2021 to 2023. The agreement will give riders a regulated wage, pension and sick pay, and recognise riders’ negotiated rights. Just Eat has signed the agreement.

In detail, the agreement provides:

  • A base hourly wage of DKK 124.20 (€16.6) from 1 March 2021, and it will rise to DKK 127.35 (€17.10) from 1 March 2022;
  • A normal weekly working time set to a minimum of 8 hours and up to 37 hours, with over time allowed up to 44 hours in total;
  • Provision of a free vehicle (an allowance if the employee has his/her own), work clothes and safety equipment.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

The collective agreements negotiated by 3F demonstrate that traditional industrial relations approaches can be adapted to regulate working conditions for platform workers.  They also show that a consensus-based approach is possible for regulating wages and working conditions for platform workers and that platform companies can also act as responsible employers. Consequently, the collective agreements minimise the potential disruptive effects of the platform economy on national labour markets and on established institutional arrangements.

A key challenge that remains is the lack of union organisation among platform workers in Denmark. This leaves the unions with little information about the actual needs and wishes of platform workers, when having to negotiate on their behalf.

Additionally, another challenge for collective bargaining agreements stems from the Danish competition rules. In 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed that the minimum hourly fee constitutes a concerted practice for the services mediated through Hilfr which might limit the competition. As a result, Hilfr offered to remove the minimum hourly fee for their so-called Freelance Hilfrs (not covered by the collective agreement) and committed to consider the so-called Super Hilfrs as employees in relation to competition law by ensuring a legal subordination relationship and bearing the financial risk of the cleaning work.

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The Danish trade union 3F

Metadata

  • Initiative
  • Negotiation of working conditions, Organising and representing workers, Provision of insurance and social protection, Taxation
  • Denmark
  • Business association, Employee organisation, Platform
  • Yes
  • household tasks
  • On-location client-determined moderately skilled work
  • Hilfr
  • English
  • 2021
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