Communist Party in Denmark
by Betty F. Carlsson
Once again thank you to the Greek CP for giving us the
opportunity to meet and discuss this very important item.
The trade unions are the place where workers in the most
directly way organise to get their rights in the class
struggle. It is why it always has been so important to
communists to organise the workers and to work in the trade
unions to get them as strong as possible. Each country has
its own traditions, and I will as a start tell some facts
on the trade union movement in Denmark.
In Denmark the Trade Unions has build the Social Democracy
in the end of the 1800th century, to have a political
superstructure to the social demands from the trade unions.
Therefor our trade unions are - or was- deeply connected to
that party. The development of the Social Democratic Party
meant that the policy for working class gave progress to
the working class by harder working. But it also gave
binding to the class struggle in the trade unions by an
agreement between the trade unions, the employers and the
government on keeping �peace� between the negotiations
about conditions which are running between the employers
and the trade unions every second year.
In Denmark almost 80% of the working class are organised n
one united trade union movement, build on colleague or
vocational membership. The trade unions have the right to
negotiate about labour conditions for every member, but
also pay our members if they get unemployed. To that we
receive public economical support. Only people who are a
member of the trade union can receive economical support.
In its Principle it is 90% of your income as long as you
But since Denmark joined the EU in 1972 these conditions
has been cut and cut. And the Social Democracy, who
claimed, that we are living in the best country of all in
the world, and who claimed that it was because of their
party we had these conditions, never protested when EU
commanded us to cut in our rights. Today we almost have the
same conditions as the rest of Europe. The conditions for
unemployed are bad, our claim for damages for loosing work
is still 100%, but in fact 55%, and after 1 year
unemployment, you have to do work for the subvention in the
public sector, where the workers are sacked because of
Our model on negotiations on labour market has also been
undermined by all the dictates from the EU commission. In
Denmark we are moving to a new model for labour conditions.
From negotiations among the labour partners, where results
where deepening on the power and activity of working
class/trade unions, which we could vote yes or no to, on to
a accept of dictates from the commission in EU. We are
still negotiating, but it seems like it is for fun.
Therefor the members have lost their trust on the
necessarily of the trade unions, and that is the problem.
It has been more difficult to tell the young workers, why
they shall join the union, when the EU makes laws, which
undermine the results of negotiations on labour market.
Excuse me for taking your time to tell all this. I know
that we have had better conditions for working class in
Denmark than other where, and it is also, all thus, we
communists in Denmark always have criticised the Social
Democrats for not doing it well enough. We are now in face
of defensive struggle, and maybe it can give ideas to
labour demands to comrades in other countries.
Back to my start. Our party has given the heighten priority
to our members to join the work in the trade unions, to
fight for the daily and long - range demands, to get
elected as top stewards in their working places, later in
the leadership of the trade unions and so on. And we are
elected, especially on the ground, It is worse to get
through the system to the very top, where the Social
Democrats still are ruling, but now on a borrowed time.
Their appeasement to the capitalist development gets the
members to mistrust them, to leave the trade unions - or to
leave the membership of the trade union underdone.
Now to the present and the future time. We have on earlier
meetings discussed the strategy of capitalism in the so
called New World order. We have all agreed that we - on
different levels - are in danger of the same strategy for
working class, all over the world. We have discussed, here
in Athens and the conference in Nepal, how we can join our
force. Trade Unions in the world, Communists Parties in the
world, giving the best slogans to working class and
practising at same time.
We all know that they are deciding in the WTO, we all know
their goals, and in Europe we all know what they are decide
in their summits. We know that people all over the world
are reacting against this dictatorship of capital, we all
know that people all over the world are reacting against
this dictatorship of capital, we all know that the answer
from capital and their footmen is more police, more watch
over people. National and internationally, more closed and
secretly meetings in the Elite of the World. What shall our
answer bee? How shall we work?
By our opinion we first of all shall work so united as
Like our contrast does. Always keeping in touch, always
informing each other. Secondly we have to realise - very
shortly said - that we have to have a common strategy, with
respect of every country who can take steps, who they
consider is important for their revolutionary development
in their country. But please, drop the experiences from so
called old days. We are in as New World Order time, and we
do not have partner: The police and naive protesting
young's. We have just had and EU Summit in Sweden; whereto
ten thousands of people went to demonstrate. They did not
come by them selves. In Denmark we have spent a lot of work
to manage that a big an broad delegation from working class
and the �no majority� of the Danish people would travel and
join the demonstrations. Our party started the broad
initiative - through the Unions in which we have influence.
We have as party worked to mobilise at every EU summit, but
this time we manage to send the most broad trade union
delegation ever to demonstrations. Our slogans where: Stop
the EU Union, respect the answer from the people in Denmark
and in Eire.
As you all know this message drowned in the message form
the street battles. And as you also know, it gives the
EU-power in co-operation with the press, possibilities to
take new steps in the EU and all over the world the world,
to prevent new anti-democratic steps, forward to the
fascist stage - unfortunately with public support.
We have as communist parties quit a job to do. By one hand,
still to organise, mobilise, and learn working class about
what is going on, and on the other hand to teavh the best
of the young revolutionaries about class struggle, knowing
that the police is the most active in some of those
In November last year I participated in the conference in
Nepal. Many things have happened, and other where since.
What we all should face - where ever we where and are - is,
that it is the same superior agenda and strategy we shall
react against. Each on our own cultural and other
conditions, but never unprepared.
The international Trade Union movement is �infected� by the
international social democratic movement, toothless in
international affairs. Never the less Trade Union/labour
movement in our country the has succeed the campaigns
against importing or using products from countries using
children's work or from countries using so called �free
zones� as demanded from the WTO/IMF, free from trade union
demands. In the so-called old days we had our own
international communist - and progressive world trade union
We do not have it any more. But still we in Denmark are
able to have and build up trade unions for peace, trade
unions against the European Union, nd stll we can mobilise
on important questions, to ex. Development in EU and WTO.
The base of starting resistance is always the trade unions.