Posted on November 1, 2005

Bjerregaard to Push for More Immigrant Hirings

Copenhagen Post, Oct. 31

Copenhagen’s favourite for the mayor post, Social Democrat Ritt Bjerregaard, plans to demand that companies need to employ a minimum number of workers with a different ethnic background than Danish if they want to work for the city.

Bjerregaard said that if she was voted mayor in the 15 November local elections, she would implement a social clause in the directives used by the city to select contractors, daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported on Monday.

‘The company needs to document that it participates actively to solve the city’s social problems. It should serve as an incitement to hire workers of other ethnic origin than Danish,’ the 64-year-old political veteran told the newspaper.

She declined to pinpoint how many should be hired, and said she had no plans to implement regulations on how long the alien workers needed to be in the contractors’ service.

Employer organisation Danish Trade and Service said they found the proposal positive, but emphasised that the city needed to live up to its own demands as well.

Conservative candidate for mayor Mogens Lønborg said he felt that companies should be selected according to their qualifications and not their personnel policies.

‘Local authorities should not force our suppliers to push qualified Danish workers further down the line,’ he said.