FTF is the trade union confederation for 450.000 public and private employees, making it the second biggest of Denmark's three main unions and a major actor in the Danish labour market., with its close on three million wage earners. Welfare and growth are the main themes of FTF's day-to-day work.
FTF has many different kinds of members, nurses, bank staff, bioanalysts, policemen, hall managers,actors & physiotyherapists are all typical examples of members of FTF; three out of four FTF'ers work in the public sector. Typical FTF'ers have one thing in common: they all work with people, be they customers, pupils, patients or clients. FTF'ers are on the frontline when it comes to giving citizens good service and solid welfare benefits. They play a major role in Denmark's welfare society. A typical FTF'er has had a short or medium-term training or education and occupies a middle position in society as regards salary and pension benefits. Most FTF'ers are covered by a collective agreement mutually reached with the employers.
The Danish labour market is based on collective agreements between employee and employer organisations. Only in the rare instances where the parties involved in the labour market fail to agree on new agreements on pay and conditions does the state intervene to pass legislation. This model is feasible because Denmark enjoys high union membership with over 80 percent of Danish wage earners members of a trade union.
Individual workers are not members of FTF, but of one of the approximately 75 trade unions or federations which are affiliated under FTF. As an umbrella organisation FTF's role is to support affiliated unions in their ongoing endeavour to improve the pay and working conditions of members. FTF does this through cooperation with employers, politicians and the general public in order to guarantee its members a better working life and an improved level of social welfare.For use in its work FTF collects information, carries out work on analyses and documentation; consultants representing FTF are active on political committees and councils involved in labour market policy and education and training.
FTF was founded in 1952, it is politically independent, working both on the local and national levels to ensure the maintenance of an efficiently run welfare society. FTF's president has been Bente Sorgenfrey since November 2003.
In cooperation with LO (Denmark's Trades Union Confederation), FTF has set up a Developmental Aid Secretariat which provides trade unions in the Third World with general assistance, economic help and expertise.
On the international front, FTF is a member of ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation), TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee) and NFS (The Nordic Trade Union Confederation).