apparently there is an EU directive for minimum wages coming. the Norwegian labour movement is against it. we have a tripartite arrangement for negotiating wages in Norway, between the main union for labourers, the main union for businesses and the government (who only steps in if the unions can't reach agreement). they don't want this directive. Norway is in the EEA and has to follow EU law but for Scandinavia, this law is unnecessary and unwelcome.

@thor Norway actually doesn't have to follow most EU directives. We just do anyways to maintain good relationships with the EU so we can keep our current agreements.

I think most Norwegians agree that we don't really need much of a minimum wage here though.
@quad @thor Sweden also wants to opt out since our unions do a better job at maintaining proper wages for workers. We will ser how it plays out :blobcat3c:

@pantsu @thor @quad I don't see how this would be worse though. The only circumstance where the minimum wage would even be relevant is if the union wants to negotiate a salary lower than the minimum wage, and that would be terrible.

@loke @pantsu @thor The problem is that if we have a minimum wage, especially a decent one, more and more people over the years might start thinking it's fine to not be in a union, and the unionization rate slips over time.

Fast forward a number of years and the "minimum wage" may instead become more of a maxiumum wage for cheap workers like what happens in many other countries.

Essentially either the minimum wage is so low it's pointless and not worth even writing into law, or it's decent enough that it starts encroaching on unions, if it then goes bad in the future we risk an America-style situation where people aren't unionized and everyone just screams for a higher minimum wage.
@loke @pantsu @thor Also sometimes it's just nice to have the flexibility. For example I know a guy who likes to grab a summer job cutting lawns in parks and stuff even though the pay is ass. But he thinks it's chill to just cut some lawns during the summer out in the sun.

With a higher minimum wage, jobs like that typically end up being understaffed, so rather than people having some low-paying highly available jobs to nab if they want to, you end up with a situation where they just skimp out, either throwing to much work at the few expensive ones they have to hire, or just don't cut the grass properly.
@loke @pantsu @thor TL;DR: The point is that either the whole thing won't change anything and is pointless, or it risks chaning something long term and actually making things worse

@quad @thor @pantsu but it will change things. Perhaps not in Sweden, but in other countries. It's certainly possible that Sweden should accept this so that workers outside Sweden gets some kind of improvement.

@loke @thor @pantsu I don't know what's best for the EU as a whole.

I just don't have a good enough overview of what the situation is like in other EU countries. Countries with highly inequal pay might benefit from a minimum wage, at least temporarily.

But I do not think Norway needs it. Whether Sweden needs it or not, the Swedes will have to decide.

Norway doesn't actually vote on EU policies for the most part. We generally just implement them "optionally" to maintain good relations, so in our case it's more of an internal argument about whether or not we should implement it.

@quad @loke @pantsu yeah but we have NEVER used the right to reject legislation, and everyone's scared of doing that. as much as possible, Norway tries to find other means of avoiding undesired EU legislation, such as talking to the Swedes, the Danes or the Finns. often, the interests of the 4 countries align.

@quad @loke @pantsu because the other countries are already in the EU and our interests align so often, it's usually not a problem that Norway can't vote. maritime interests is where Norway diverges though. but we're quite tough negotiators in that respect.

@quad @loke @pantsu encroaching on Norwegian maritime rights is asking for trouble, i've heard quite hostile language from Norwegian officials when that happens

@thor @loke @pantsu yeah I know, Norway is mostly just "Too nice to say no". We do usually affect the EU decisions indirectly.

@quad @loke @pantsu for not actually being in the EU, we appear to be very active in Brussels

@thor @quad @pantsu To be honest I don't understand why Norway just joins. I mean, it's better for the rest of EU if Norway doesn't join since decisions are easier with one less country to disagree, but from Norway's perspective, it would make a lot more sense to just join.

@loke @quad @pantsu there are people in Norway who are wondering too, but after two referendums 20 years apart, both resulting in a no, the politicians gave up on it.

@loke @quad @pantsu i think it's got something to do with our history to be honest. gaining our independence from Denmark/Sweden a century ago, only to get invaded by Germany. something in the national psyche.

@loke @quad @pantsu i expect that if the polls ever show that there's popular support for joining, the politicians will pick up the ball again

@thor @loke @pantsu I mean to be fair, do we really need it?

There's some stuff the EU does and I'm glad for, but for the most part, Scandinavia already had stuff like free movement. The main benefit I see to the EU is using it to force stupid companies and other countries to listen to us. But the EU generally agrees with us and does that anyways without us joining.

@quad @loke @pantsu EU legislation is often redundant since we already had the same laws. you sometimes wonder if they just copy Scandinavian laws...

@thor @loke @pantsu That's also a thing. Often it feels like EU just does the same, but slower.
@quad @thor @loke you need membership to buy Steamdecks. I personally want Sweden to opt out of the Euro since I don't trust how well they've managed it so far (Greece for exanple). But we don't have a permanent opt out like Denmark so I don't know how that will play out.

@pantsu @loke @quad it somehow seems unlikely that any of the Scandinavian countries will switch away from the krone/krona anytime soon.

@thor @pantsu @loke Probably because the better off your country already is, the less beneficial it is to switch to the euro.

I think large chunks of Finland still regret switching to the euro, at least my dad regularly rants about how much everyone was against it when the switch happened

@quad @thor @pantsu The worst part of Finland switching to the Euro was that my favourite joke didn't work anymore:

"Vet du varför norrmännen tar med sig en spade när de åker till finland?"
"Därför att den norska kronan ligger under den finska marken"

@thor @pantsu @quad If anyone does it, my guess would be that the Danish would be first. Their closeness to Germany surely must affect them.

@pantsu @loke @thor Product launches skipping norway because we're not EU is legit one of the things that annoy me pretty much daily.

lots of products even ship to switzerland but not Norway.

@quad @loke @pantsu they often seem to do it unknowingly, perhaps unaware that the EEA exists.

@quad @thor @pantsu thanks. That's the first reasonable argument I've heard in favour of that position. I'm still not sure I fully agree with it, but it's certainly a convincing argument.

@loke @thor @pantsu There's arguments for both sides. But generally most Norwegians simply agree that a minimum wage would add more bureaucracy while fixing nothing, if anything it risks breaking things long-term.

@thor Fortunately (regarding this topic) Norway ain't in the EU I guess, since a proper directive for minimum wages across the EU might dramatically help eastern EU countries and reduces the pull of workforce from east to west. If better systems are already implemented it hopefully won't interfer with them.

@Natanox Denmark and Sweden are fighting it as well, because they also don't want political interference in wage negotiations either

@Natanox it might be good for the rest of the union, but this is a plain and simple conflict of interest. the worry is that if you put this into law, politicians might mess with wages more than they currently do, which is undesirable for Scandinavia

@thor Mmh. I see the point, however this also helps those who were successful in suppressing any unionizing to this day either by firing any worker who brings it up instantly or by other, even more vile means.

Perhaps allowing national bailouts and forming an annual EU committee to check on each countries progress individually could be a compromise. That way countries who already do it properly aren't annoyed, while pressure can by applied on the worst offenders.

@Natanox suppressing unions is fortunately not super common in Europe. but this thread is growing, so see also what the others have been saying

@icedquinn well, it's not unheard of for various organisations representing labourers and employers to negotiate standard rates for certain sectors - at least not in Scandinavia

@icedquinn why the EU wants this into law is less clear. maybe because it would be good for wages to be better in the lower-income EU countries. a lot of legislation in the EU seems to get introduced in order to influence domestic issues in those countries.

@icedquinn also see what everyone else chimed in with, the OP got a lot of replies all of a sudden ...because of the massive wage dumping problem the EU has with the eastern states?

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