Around 25,000 private-sector workers in Norway will go on strike from Monday morning, April 17.
This is after negotiations with employers broke down. The strike is set to escalate in the following days. It will mainly affect industries such as construction, breweries, ferry operators and manufacturers, including Aker Solutions, Norsk Hydro and Carlsberg, according to two major labor unions.
Norway’s oil and gas production is not affected by the strike, the unions said on Sunday, April 16.
Another 16,000 workers are due to strike from April 21 unless an agreement is reached. The industrial action could ultimately involve around 200,000 workers, according to the unions.
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) is negotiating on behalf of 185,000 members. The smaller Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS) represents another 16,000 members in the talks.
The unions are demanding an increase in wages after two years of consumer prices rising faster than salaries. During the negotiations the unions have been emphasizing the healthy profits in Norwegian industries.
The goal is to increase wages by 5% or more as the Norwegian inflation is predicted at 4.9% for 2023.
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), representing employers, is arguing that wages should not be allowed to rise to an extent that would risk inflation spinning out of control.
“The NHO chose to reject our demands and thereby trigger a strike,” LO union boss Peggy Hessen Foelsvik said on Sunday.
“The NHO has acted responsibly, but our opponents would not compromise,” NHO Chief Executive Ole Erik Almlid replied in a statement.