Danish Union Delegation Visits IBEW

October 4, 2013

Danish trade unionists meet with IBEW leaders. Front, from left: Jørgen Juul Rasmussen, general secretary Danish Union of Electricians; Edwin D. Hill, international president, IBEW. Back, from left: Ricky Oakland, director of CIR/Bylaws & Appeals; Jens-Olav Pedersen, deputy general-secretary, Danish Union of Electricians; Benny Yssing, national officer, Danish Union of Electricians; Jan Jensen, Vice general-secretary Danish Union of Electricians; Sam Chilia, international secretary-treasurer, IBEW; Jerry Westerholm, director of Construction and Maintenance department.


Leaders of the Danish Union of Electricians, along with their counterparts on the employer side, visited the IBEW International Office Oct. 1.

The Danish electrical workers – known in Denmark as Dansk El-Forbund – represent more than 30,000 workers in construction and utilities.

Denmark is one of Europe’s strongest economies, with an unemployment rate of less than 5 percent. With an economy that is highly rated by many international financial institutions and pro-corporate think tanks, Denmark also possesses one of the world’s strongest labor movements.

Unions – which represent the overwhelming majority of Danish working people – not only bargain for wages and benefits but are key players and decisions-makers in the economy, working with employers to guarantee a broadly-based prosperity and some of the lowest levels of income inequality.

Denmark has a long history of strong labor-management participation, which has maintained good industrial relations, while providing employers with a steady stream of highly-skilled workers.

“We have a lot to learn from how they do things in Denmark,” said President Hill. “It shows that unions can work with employers to raise standards for working people and still have a successful and profitable economy.”

Clickhereto learn more about Denmark’s unique labor-relations system.

General-Secretary Jørgen Juul Rasmussen and Niels Jørgen Hansen, head of Tekniq, the Danish electrical contractors association, met with International President Edwin D. Hill and Secretary-Treasurer Sam Chilia, along with Construction Department Director Jerry Westerholm.

Representatives from the National Electrical Contractors Association and the National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee were also on hand to explain the structure of electrical industry in the United States and showcase the IBEW’s and NECA’s state-of-the-art training and educational resources.