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1 May 2018

Denmark: historical merger of two trade union confederations gets green light from delegates

Delegates at parallel Congresses of the LO and FTF have voted yes to a merger of the two trade union confederation. Directly afterwards, the founding congress assembled and established a new confederation with 1.5 million members. The merger takes effect from 1 January 2019.

The delegates at two Congresses of the trade union confederations, the Federation of Trade Unions LO and Confederation of Salaried Employees and Civil Servants FTF, backed up a proposal to merge the organisations and to form a new central confederation. The new organisation will have 1.5 million members. Both extraordinary congresses had required a two-thirds majority to go forward with a joint central organisation. In the case of FTF, 71.4% of the delegates voted in favour of the merger. In LO, 389 out of 400 delegates voted for the merger while 11 votes were void or against. With currently 2.7 million persons engaged in active employment in the labour market, the organisation will be representing more than half of the active workforce. The formal founding of the joint central organisation took place directly after the vote. LO-chair Lizette Risgaard will be the president, with two vice-presidents and four other presidium members. 

The joint organisation will come into effect as of 1 January 2019. Until then, the LO and FTF will continue to operate separately. In the meantime, decisions remain to be taken on, among other things, the name of the new organisation, the policy programme and areas of activity to be operationalised and the integration of the organisations must be finalised. The two organisations have already been cooperating for several decades in the trade union council for international development. This LO/FTF Council was established, under a slightly different name, in 1987 by LO and FTF.

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