The IUF-affiliated Fellesforbundet has negotiated a new national collective agreement for hotel and restaurant workers, overcoming employer resistance to secure equality of treatment for temporary agency workers. The agreement guarantees the same wages and conditions for agency workers as directly-employed workers, and stipulates that agency workers will also have the right to be included in the collective agreement covering the enterprise. The agreement was reached on April 19 following 8 hours of tough negotiations under mediation.
The agreement also brings, for the first time, 2 weeks of paid paternity leave following the birth of a child – considered by the union to be a key measure for equality in the workplace. Fathers have previously had the right to 10 weeks paid parental leave, but the two weeks following birth were unpaid. On these issues, the agreement followed the gains won in earlier negotiations for the metal, textile and other sectors represented by Fellesforbundet. The hotel and restaurant workers were able to build on these gains and also negotiate substantial increases in minimum wages for all workers, skilled and unskilled, a key union demand in this comparatively low wage sector.
The agreement will be put to a membership vote on May 9.