A-kasse rights for migrant workers under attack!
If you have been away for a total of one year, you will be cut off for unemployment benefits for seven years
The Danish government has come up with a proposal that workers must have stayed in Denmark or the European Economic Area (EEA) for 7 years to get unemployment security in the A-kasse. It affects immigrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as workers who have taken work in Dubai, the United States, Canada or other countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). If you have been away for a total of one year, you will be cut off for unemployment benefits for seven years and potentially also maternity and sickness benefits. Copenhagen Construction Unions in Cooperation oppose the proposal and made the following statement:
Defend the Danish model - stop the residence requirement of the A-kasse
The planned tightening of legislation with the introduction of a 7-year residence requirement to receive unemployment benefits in Denmark, is being presented as a defense of the Danish welfare society. But the proposal is a huge mistake which is both:
Discriminatory against people living and working legally in Denmark, and
Makes a long term organizational problem for the trade union movement a in relation to migrant labor.
The LO federations have rightly spent much energy to ensure proper refugee agreements. Agreements aimed at quickly bringing refugees in to the labor market and thus helping them being integrated into the danish sociarity. It is on the job that you learn the language, culture and the norms quickly. It is also on the job that you get acquainted with the Danish model. For example, the danish collective agreement that ensures one's rights at work, and the danish unemployment safety net, the A-kassen.
A good safety net is a vital part of the Danish labor market. It is a large factor in ensuring that workers dare to stand up for their rights. For example, say no to underpayment. Without access to this security, large groups in the Danish labor market will be pressured to accept underpayment and poor working conditions. Therefore, the proposal is a major step back in the fight against social dumping.
For the trade union movement, there will also be an organizational problem, as we will not be able to invite immigrant and refugee colleagues in to all of our community, which normally includes both trade unions and A-kasse.
The Danish A-kasse system is based on a good insurance policy, where people themselves have to pay and earn the right to the insurance, but the requirements must be the same for all colleagues. To introduce discrimination is a slippery slide that in time can destroy trust in a otherwise good system.
We therefore demand that the residence requirement be taken from the table in its entirety.
Adopted by Copenhagen Construction Unions in Cooperation 30/8-18