The Danish trade union movement move towards electing a new leader

A long-awaited lawyer’s investigation into former chairman Lizette Risgaard’s behavior in a number of cases deprives managers in FH of responsibility. Risgaard has not done anything legally wrong but will find it difficult to play any role in the future. On September 7th, the trade union movement will elect a new leader – who?

A 300-page lawyer’s investigation into violations committed by the former chairman Lizette Risgaard was met with great excitement.

But on Thursday evening it ended quite undramatically with a press conference and a general announcement from FH to move on.

In at least three cases, the law firm Kromann Reumert believes that it is provable that there has been inappropriate behavior with sexual hints on the part of Lizette Risgaard.

“There has been no talk of actions where there is a breach of the legislation. But our assessment is that Lizette Risgaard, as a leader with a prominent position of power, has in several cases behaved inappropriately,” Morten Skov Christiansen, FH’s acting chairman, said.

As there are no violated employees in FH, they will not proceed with a legal follow-up in relation to Lizette Risgaard. However, the cases in question conflict with FH’s current code.

“We consider the case closed. There will be no legal repercussions from us,” Christiansen said.

Focus on electing new leadership
With about 1.3 million members spanning across 65 organisations, FH (Danish Trade Union Confederation) is the largest national trade union confederation in Denmark.

Christiansen is considered a possible candidate for the upcoming election as new leader on September 7th.

From now on, candidates can apply for the post of chairman of the Danish wage earners. That process will be easier if nothing new emerges and Risgaard does not want to continue a debate about the background to her resignation.

On Facebook, she writes about the episodes that she “has not experienced situations like that” and has “never intended to offend anyone”.

“I can see that there are still some who have felt that their boundaries have been violated and I am sorry for that,” she writes.

Dramatic step down
Risgaard annouced her own resignation as head of FH in late April following a spectacular case, revealed by Berlingske and Ekstra Bladet.

The two media revealed that the 62-year-old Risgaard had behaved inappropriately towards younger men for a number of years.

The revelations hit the media just ahead of Labour Day and left the Danish trade union movement in chaos.