Unions Divided? Trade Union Attitudes Towards the European Union's Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages

Eriks Ozols, Stefan Ivanov Hristov, Thomas Paster*

*Corresponding author

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In October 2022, the European Union adopted a directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union (AMWD). This directive has sparked considerable controversy. While employers uniformly oppose the AMWD, unions are divided. In many EU countries, unions support the AMWD, while in Denmark and Sweden, they oppose it. This article aims to answer the question: Why do unions in some member states support the AMWD, while unions in other countries oppose it? Drawing on 27 semi-structured interviews with union representatives from 13 EU countries, the article presents a typology of union positions towards AMWD consisting of three types: domestically-oriented opposition, domestically-oriented support, and externally-oriented support. The article proposes an explanation for these three different types that is based on two variables: bargaining coverage, and the role of state institutions in protecting it.

TidsskriftEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Vol/bindOnline first
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 21 apr. 2024


  • Collective bargaining coverage
  • European Union
  • Minimum Wage Directive
  • statutory minimum wages
  • trade unions

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