Strikes in the public sector in Denmark: Assessing the economic gains and losses of collective action

Steen Scheuer, Flemming Ibsen, Laust Høgedahl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article looks at strikes by employees in the public sector, discusses the theoretical background to these conflicts and shows – based on a case study of three strikes in the Danish public sector – how different union strategies lead to very different outcomes in terms of economic gains and losses, ranging from a slightly positive result to a negative result from which it will take eight to ten
years to recover. This is of great importance because the challenge facing public sector unions is different from that of their counterparts: private sector unions struggle with the owners of capital, while public sector unions trying to move up the wage hierarchy cannot expect much help from fellow public sector unions, often quite the reverse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransfer: European review of Labour and Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)367-382
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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