Has the collective agreement been broken?
What you should do if your employer violates the collective agreement with the union.
Not all employers sign the collective agreement with the union, but the union does everything we can to make all the employers who works in our area, sign a collective agreement. The trade union is doing this to ensure that the companies' competence to be the cheapest does not push wages and working conditions down through the floor. There are no laws in Denmark that protects workers' wages, only the collective agreements do that.
Read more about Collective agreements
Some employers sign a collective agreement but fail to comply with the agreement afterwards. Maybe they don't pay a high enough salary, maybe they forget to pay a pension, maybe they forget the extra payment when you work more than 37 hours a week.
The union has the opportunity to set up a so-called labour lawsuit (faglig sag), against companies who breaks the collective agreement they have with the union. Just like anyone else can sue a partner, if the partner does not comply with the agreement they signed.
However, it is very difficult for the union to detect breaches of the collective agreements if we do not have active members who tell us about the breaches, when it happens. It is also difficult to get employers sentenced to pay the entire missing salary to the employees, if the breach is discovered after a long time.
The trade union therefore needs you, the building workers, to do the following:
- Joins the union before you get cheated, just as you should pay insurance before your house burns down
- Write down all your working hours into a calendar
- Shows the union bank transfers, pay checks and timesheets so we can check your pay. (Do it once a year or when you change jobs)
- Learn how to check your own pay checks and retirement payments
Only by helping each other and standing together in the union, can we ensure good wages and working conditions in the Danish construction industry.