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Danish nurses told by court to return to work

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish nurses told by court to return to work
Sygeplejersker har midlertidigt nedlagt arbejdet for anden dag i træk i en overenskomststridig arbejdsnedlæggelse på Rigshospitalet i København tirsdag den 7. september 2021.. (Foto: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix)

Nurses who have conducted brief wildcat strikes have been told by a labour tribunal that they must return to work and normalise the situation.

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No decision has yet been made as to whether to fine the nurses. This will be determined at a later time.

The Danish nurses’ union, DSU, faced the regional health authorities which employ nurses on Thursday in the labour tribunal court, Arbejdsretten.

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That came after nurses at several hospitals recently went on strike — usually for a symbolic period of one hour — in breach of their collective bargaining agreement.

The wildcat strikes are a protest in turn at government intervention in talks between the nurses’ union and employers over a new deal for wages and working conditions, which broke down over the summer.

Thousands of nurses earlier took part in union-sanctioned strikes, before the government stepped in to impose new terms in the absence of an agreement between the two sides.

EXPLAINED: Why has the government intervened in Denmark’s nurses strike?

Striking nurses could face wage deductions or fines of 56 kroner per hour for participating in the so-called wildcat strikes, meaning strikes which breach collective bargaining agreements.

Nurses, many of whom have worked long overtime at considerable personal risk during the Covid-19 pandemic, want a deal that gives them what they feel would be a fairer wage.

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