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Norway: Utility workers on strike

03 October 2012
Utility workers in Norway have been on strike since mediation broke down last week. Crucial to the breakdown was the employers' proposals to change the workers' pension plan.

Members of PSI-affiliated El & IT Forbundet and Fagforbundet have been on strike since mediation broke down last Thursday.

The official reason for the breakdown is that the parties did not agree on minimum wage rates, travel rules and payment of working outside normal working hours, but according to the Norwegian trade union website www.frifagbevegelse.no, the employers' requirement to negotiate changes to the pension plan for the employees were crucial to the breakdown of the mediation.

- The requirement to negotiate over canges in the workers'pensions plans was not released until half an hour before the arbitration deadline expired and this blocked the further progress, says national secretary of El & IT Forbundet, Bjørn Fornes. to frifagbevegelse.no.

So far, 453 utility workers in one region have been on strike, but the unions have announced that the stike will be escalated on Monday October 8. If the escalation is implemented, 1,000 of 2,500 utilitiy workers in the municipal sector will be on strike from next week.

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