Here’s who’s striking around Norway

Garbage was already starting to pile up in Trondheim, parents had to take their children with them to work in many Norwegian cities and even weather forecasts were lacking information from many areas around the country after just one day of a major strike by state and municipal workers.

The strike that began early Thursday, when talks broke down between public sector employers and employees, is affecting a wide range of townships all over the country. Those targeted in the strike’s first phase include Asker, Askøy, Bergen, Bodø, Drammen, Kristiansand, Larvik, Lillehammer, Narvik, Oslo, Sandnes, Tromsø, Trondheim and Ålesund.

Here’s a rundown, reported as of Friday by newspaper Aftenposten, of workers pulled off the job by their various unions, all of whom are represented by Norway’s trade union confederations LO, Unio and YS:

** Teachers and pre-school teachers are among the 8,500 municipal employees on strike within the education sector. They work in 459 schools and day care centers targeted by Unio, and many have had to close. Among them was the school attended by the youngest children of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, prompting the royal couple to take Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus along with them on a long-planed tour in the county of Møre og Romsdal. Other parents also felt forced to take their children to work with them, or find other child-minding arrangements. Older students at state colleges and universities risked have end-of-year exams postponed or cancelled.

** Administrative employees in all targeted townships are also affected, along with parking monitors, garbage collection and harbor workers who are members of LO’s largest union, Fagforbundet.

** Many employees of municipal nursing homes and home health care workers are also off the job in the townships selected.

** State workers in various state ministries are on strike, disrupting a wide range of administrative functions.

** Cruiseship traffic, picking up as the summer tourism season begins, faced disruption because more than 40 port pilots working in the Oslo Fjord were pulled off on strike. Other maritime services and operations at an oil refinery at Slagen also faced disruptions.

** State meteorologists in western Norway and Trøndelag were also pulled off the job, leaving a void in the national weather maps and lack of forecasts for much of central and western Norway.

** Taxpayers are likely to face delays in getting their tax refunds or tax bills because of striking workers at the state tax office Skatteetaten.

** Around 300 police officers were pulled off the job in Oslo, mostly affecting criminal investigations.

** Prison guard staffing was affected at various prisons around the country, resulting in the early release of 54 prisoners at the Bjorgvin Prison.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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