In Norway, a strike leads to wage increases in construction

The strikers won their case. In Norway, employees in the construction, transport and hotel sectors had announced that they would strike on April 17, 2023 to demand wage increases. This was particularly the case for employees of Norsk Hydro, a manufacturer of aluminum products, and Aker Solutions, a company in theindustry oil and gas, says the Reuters news agency. In total, about 23,500 union members had stopped working for four days, a significant figure in a country of 5.5 million inhabitants.

+5.2% increase

A wage agreement was quickly reached between employers (NHO) and Norway’s main trade union confederation (LO Norge), according to AFP, which led to the end of the strike. The agreement provides for a salary increase of 5.2% in 2023. In detail, a general increase of 7.5 crowns (0.64 euros) per hour is planned, or even 10.5 or 11.5 crowns for the lowest wages.

This is much better than the offer we received from NHO during the mediation. It’s a good historical result and it shows the advantage of fighting together“, LO Norge leader Peggy Hessen Følsvik said in a statement. For her part, the leader of the confederation of employee unions YS (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund), Hans-Erik Skjæggerud, judged the strike “necessary“. With this general mobilization, “we managed to reverse a trend of several years where many members had lost purchasing power“, he said in a statement.

The inflation rate in Norway in 2023 is expected to be 4.9%. The economic context had pushed the trade union confederations to ask for wage increases above this level of inflation, recalls AFP. In the construction sector, the average wage is about 256 crowns per hour, or about 22 euros, figures the international company specializing in wage analysis Economic Research Institute.

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