What is the Norwegian Model?
Being a member of a trade union is an important piece of the puzzle often called "The Norwegian Model" - a cooperative model that is unique to the Nordic countries.
The Norwegian Model gives us the rules of the game for working life, showing us how employers, unions and government meet and speak with one another in what is called "tripartite cooperation".
Dialogue and trust
The Norwegian Model has been in development for over 120 years; it helps create predictability, dialogue and trust in the workplace, giving us the tools necessary to deal with differences of opinion and conflicts of interest before they escalate into major conflicts.
The possibility for employees to influence their working conditions, and a work life characterized by equality and trust are also part of this tradition. This situation allows employees' knowledge and skills to be used positively, which in turn creates employee motivation and job satisfaction.
It all started in the late 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. The level of conflict grew continuously higher throughout the twentieth century, resulting in a number of long-lasting strikes. Then in 1935, The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) signed their first major collective bargaining agreement; today, this agreement is regarded as the country’s principal labor law. In fact, this agreement is so important for Norwegian culture that in 2012 it was listed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
While a lot has happened since the 1930s, the Norwegian Model currently means, among other things, that Tekna has access to several formal and informal meeting places, both locally through Tekna union representatives’ presence in companies and nationally with NHO. We’re also represented in the Government's Contact Committee, where we work on meeting the challenges employees face in working life. We don’t always get everything we want, but the Norwegian Model gives us influence; and the more members we have, the more influence we get.
A model for the future
We are now in the middle of a new revolution where digitalization, robotization and automation will both change employers’ needs with regard to skills and manpower and challenge relationships in the workplace. We believe that the Norwegian Model has created a culture that provides a high degree of innovation and adaptability, which will be important for finding solutions in the future.
Would you like to read more about the Norwegian Model? Download the booklet "The Main Agreement and the Norwegian Model" (in norwegian).
You can also learn more about this topic in our online course Getting to Know Tekna (for members - in norwegian)