Workers’ Activism and Industrial Democracy in Denmark in the 20th Century

Flemming Mikkelsen


The breakthrough of capitalism intensified the struggle between workers and employers over the control of the work process. The historical record reveals that worker participation in Denmark has fluctuated in intensity following economic and political cycles. Major actors have often been informal work groups and the left-wing opposition, which have forced the trade unions and even sometimes the Social Democratic Party to put workers’ participation on the industrial agenda. Overall, Danish workers and employees have enjoyed a significant influence on work place decision making mainly due to small production units and a large sector of skilled workers.


workers’ activism; industrial democracy; industrial relations; labour history; social history; social movement; Denmark

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