Morning Briefing – Wednesday, September 4

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Pay cut deal could set precedent
Agreements to take a pay cut in exchange for employers investing in their companies could become common practice among Danish businesses seeking a way to deal with high wages and low productivity, according to Flemming Ibsen, a labour market expert with the University of Aalborg. Ibsen said the model could be useful in a number of industries, including tourism, hospitality and cleaning. Ibsen’s comments came a day after Danish Crown and union representatives put forward an agreement that would see slaughterhouse workers accept pay cuts in exchange for the company investing an equal amount in domestic pig farming in order to promote increased production. – Erhverv & Økonomi

SEE RELATED: Danish Crown closing in Esbjerg

Political praise for pay cut
A pending agreement between slaughterhouse workers at a Danish Crown plant in the town of Horsens that would see employees accept pay cuts in order to keep their jobs is being lauded by the business and economy minister as a model for other employees in the same situation. Henrik Sass Larsen (Socialdemokraterne) said the agreement, which calls for Danish Crown to reinvest the reduced wages into pig farming, should serve as inspiration for other manufacturing companies facing the same problems with higher wages and lower productivity than foreign competitors. – Politiken

More competition good for growth
The road to growth and job creation is paved with higher competition, says the business and growth minister, Henrik Sass Larsen (Socialdemokraterne). Efforts to improve competition, such as an elimination of chemists’ monopoly on the sale of prescription drugs, would result in lower prices and force companies to become more efficient, Larsen said. “Why should I pay twice as much for a product when I could have it for half the price?,” the business minister asked. Larsen’s comments put him line with the recommendations of a government-seated panel looking into ways to improve competitiveness. – Information

SEE RELATED: Business leaders say that Thorning-Schmidt’s government is best for competitiveness

Profit over patriotism
Two out of three executives say they place their company’s interests ahead of national interests when making business decisions. An equal amount said their primary motivation was earning as much as possible for their shareholders. The results of the Greens Analyseinstitut poll fly in the face of calls by the prime minister for businesses to do their part to help create jobs in Denmark. Management specialist Steen Hildebrandt, of the University of Aarhus, said putting profit before patriotism was “only natural". "Corporate management has the best interests of shareholders in mind,” Hildebrandt added. Other experts agreed, but some expected that the concept of creating value for shareholders would eventually come to include making contributions to the communities where businesses operate. – Børsen

No more days in court for Iraq whistle blower 
The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of an army intelligence officer who leaked a video last year showing Danish soldiers looking on as Iraqi forces mistreated captives. Captain Anders Kærgaard has been ordered to pay 500 kroner per week until he reveals the name of the person who recorded the video. He and his lawyers argue that the fine amounts to punishing him for acting in the public’s interest. – DR Nyheder

SEE RELATED: Video of Iraqi abuse filmed by Danish soldiers