Sweden Denmark and Finland Oppose EU Minimum Wage
Sweden Denmark and Finland Oppose EU Minimum Wage Sweden, Denmark, and Finland opposed plans to establish a minimum wage system that would be valid throughout the European Union (EU), fearing that it would reduce the wages of workers in their home countries and undermine workers’ right to bargain collectively.
The proposal came from Ursula von der Leyen, the new head of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.
Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal does not foresee a direct minimum wage level set by the Commission, but rather the criteria that the member states must comply with when setting the minimum wage.
Von der Leyen says the EU minimum wage will stop brain drain from east to west.
The first meeting on the proposal will be held tomorrow.
Speaking to the British Guardian newspaper, Danish Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard said he supported a proposal to raise the wages of the least-paid. “But we have to do this by preserving the traditions of countries and their models that work well,” Peter Hummelgaard said.
Hummelgaard said: “In Denmark, wages are determined only by negotiations of trade unions and employer representatives. It’s been like this for over 100 years,” he said.
Which countries don’t have a minimum wage?
Currently, only Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden in the 28-member European Union do not have a minimum wage set by law.
But employers in Northern European countries pay workers well above the EU average. In Denmark, for example, with 2018 data, the average hourly wage costs employers 43.50 euros.
In the country, where more than two-thirds of employees are unionized, the hourly wage of the lowest-paid workers is 17.5 euros. The wages of Swedish and Finnish employees determined by collective bargaining are at a similar level.
Northern European governments say it will result in employers not increasing the salaries of their employees, citing the minimum wage.